National Team Indoor Qualifying Takes Huskies To Duke
Jan. 24, 2012
ITA NATIONAL TEAM INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
THIS WEEK: Just two weeks into the regular season, the Husky men's tennis team already is prepping for a national tournament. This weekend, the 26th-ranked Huskies are one of sixty teams meeting around the country for the first and second rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. There are fifteen sites with four teams each, with the winner from each site moving on to Charlottesville, Virginia next month for the final rounds. Seattle often serves as a final rounds host, which gives UW an automatic entry, but this year the Huskies will be going through the qualifying process, which takes them to Durham, North Carolina and the campus of Duke University. The Huskies (3-0) will play 30th-ranked Louisville on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7 a.m. Pacific time, while 10th-ranked Duke faces 47th-ranked VCU in the second match of the day. The two winning teams then face off on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m. Pacific and the losing teams play a consolation match at 1 p.m.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Kyle McMorrow has made a big jump in the singles rankings at the start of his junior season. He began the fall ranked 22nd, which was a career-high at the time. But after several strong wins in the fall season he rose to No. 15 in the newest rankings out on Jan. 3. That makes McMorrow the sixth Husky ever to crack the top-15 and the first since the 2005 season, when both Alex Vlaski and Alex Slovic were in that group. As a team, the Dawgs began the season ranked 26th nationally after ending the 2011 season ranked 25th. New team rankings came out today, Jan. 24, but little changed as UW remains 26th. Freshman Emmett Egger was ranked 10th in the ITA newcomer rankings in the fall, and he and McMorrow were preseason 29th in doubles but are currently unranked at the start of dual play.
SCOUTING LOUISVILLE: The Huskies and Cardinals will meet twice this season, with Louisville scheduled for a trip to Seattle in March. Louisville is ranked 30th to start the year after ending 2011 ranked 24th. Last year the Cardinals went 18-12 against a very tough schedule and made the NCAA second round. They also won their four-team ITA National Team Indoor regional last year and advanced to Seattle for the finals. The Cardinals had a big road win last weekend at 38th-ranked Maryland, winning 6-1. Louisville started four freshmen in singles play, and all posted wins. Senior Andrew Carter played No. 1 singles, and he is ranked 113th nationally. Carter and freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer are ranked 24th in doubles. The Huskies have won the two previous meetings, most recently in 2007, when they had a 4-1 win in Seattle.
SCOUTING DUKE: The 10th-ranked Blue Devils started their season with an impressive 4-3 road win at No. 32 Michigan. Duke has lost in the NCAA Round of 16 the past two seasons, going 22-10 a year ago. Last year they also won their ITA National Team Indoor qualifying region and advanced to Seattle for the finals. Duke features one of the top players in the NCAA in junior Henrique Cunha, currently ranked seventh in singles. Cunha was an NCAA quarterfinalist last year and made the ITA National Indoor semifinals this past fall. Sophomore Chris Mengel is not far behind at No. 17. Fred Saba is also ranked 110th and Raphael Hemmeler is ranked 120th. Mengel and Cunha are ranked 26th as a doubles team, and Saba and Hemmeler are ranked 40th. Duke and UW have played just once, in the 2001 ITA National Team Indoor tourney, with Duke coming out on top.
SCOUTING VCU: The Rams of Virginia Commonwealth opened their 2012 season with a series of mini duals, playing five matches in three days and winning all of them. Duke will be their first ranked opponent of the year. VCU was 22-7 last year and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Wake Forest, ending the season ranked 48th. They won the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title. Junior Max Wennakoski is ranked 47th nationally in singles. Washington has a 2-0 record all-time against Virginia Commonwealth, with the last meeting coming in 2006, when UW knocked off VCU in the NCAA second round to make the round of 16.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies faced their first two ranked opponents of the season in 57th-ranked Idaho on Friday and 75th-ranked Pacific on Sunday afternoon, and came away with 7-0 sweeps in both. Doubles play was tough in both matches, except for Jeff Hawke and Max Manthou, who had an 8-1 win against Idaho and an 8-3 win against Pacific. Marton Bots and Viktor Farkas rallied from 1-5 down to win a tiebreak against Pacific to clinch the doubles point which was tied at 1-1. The Huskies then controlled singles play on both days, with only Farkas going to three sets. Kyle McMorrow defeated Marius Cirstea of Idaho and Ivan Castro of Pacific at No. 1 singles. Marton Bots posted the clinching victory in both maches, beating Cristobal Ramos Salazar of Idaho and Alex Golding of Pacific. Emmett Egger at No. 2, Max Manthou at No. 4, and Nicholas Kamisar at No. 6 all won both their matches in straight sets. Farkas, playing fifth singles, came back from slow starts each day. He won a third set super-teibreak against
FALL SEASON RECAP: Eight Huskies saw action this past fall, with first year Dawgs Emmett Egger and Jeff Hawke jumping right into things and redshirt freshman Nicholas Kamisar getting his first college matches, and wins, as well. Junior Kyle McMorrow represented UW in the main draw of the two major national tournaments, making the round of 32 at both the ITA All-American Championships and the ITA National Indoor Championships, posting three wins over players now ranked in the top-25 in the process. Egger was 8-2 in the fall and closed with his first tournament title, as he won the PNW Intercollegiates singles title at Oregon, beating Oregon's No. 1 singles player in the final. Washington hosted the ITA Northwest Regional tourney, with McMorrow and Egger each making the quarterfinals in singles and in doubles together. Sophomore Max Manthou played well in the fall, going 5-2 overall including his first ranked win, over 64th-ranked Denis Lin of Stanford. Marton Bots, Kamisar, and Matt Stith all made the Regional round of 32 and Manthou made the round of 16. In singles, UW was a combined 33-18 in the fall.
UP NEXT: Washington will head for another tough road dual, traveling to Boise State to face the 48th-ranked Broncos on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m.
HEAD COACH Matt Anger: The turning point in modern Washington tennis came with the hiring of Matt Anger, now entering into his 18th season as head coach. Since his arrival, the Huskies have been a model of consistency, and consistently excellent at that. The winningest coach in Washington history, Anger's teams have never once missed the NCAA Championships and have been a fixture in the Top-25 with five runs to the NCAA Round of 16 since 2000. Under Anger's watch, Washington has posted a winning record in all of his 16 seasons, and won its first ever Pac-10 title in 2005 as Anger was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Furthermore, several of Anger's players have seen tremendous individual success, with seven of the top eight winningest players in UW history competing during his tenure. Five different singles players have earned All-American honors under Anger, 10 different players earned year-end Top-50 rankings, and Alex Vlaski captured the 2003 ITA All-American Championships, the first national title for a Husky since 1924. In addition, Anger has guided three different players to the NCAA Singles Semifinals. Anger played collegiate tennis at USC from 1982-84 and was a three-time All-American, while leading the team to a top-five finish three consecutive years. In 1983, he was a Pac-10 singles finalist and helped lead the Trojans to a third-place NCAA finish. The next season, Anger won the Pac-10 doubles championship and helped USC win the conference team title. At the conclusion of his junior season, Anger entered the pro ranks and played on the pro tour for eight years (1984-91). He earned his highest ATP singles ranking of No. 23 in the world in 1986. Starting with the Australian Open in 1985 through Wimbledon in 1987, no American won more Grand Slam singles matches. In that span, Anger reached the round of 16 at both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1986.