Tough Road Test Pits Huskies Against Broncos
Feb. 1, 2012
SATURDAY, FEB. 4 BOISE, IDAHO
THIS WEEK: The Husky men's tennis team travels to face one of its biggest regional rivals this week in a dual that looms large for both the Huskies and 48th-ranked Boise State. Washington (4-1) is looking to pick up its first true road win and build on the progress made at ITA National Team Indoor Qualifying last week. The Broncos (3-1) will no doubt put a big target on the higher-ranked Dawgs as an upset would give them a big early rankings boost. First serve is set for 4 p.m. Pacific time at the Boise Racquet and Swim Club.
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 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 BOISE STATE: The Broncos are off to a 3-1 start this season, and went 1-1 last week at Stanford in ITA National Team Indoor Championships qualifying. They lost their opener to 50th-ranked Santa Clara, 5-2, then bounced back for a 7-0 win over 64th-ranked St. Mary's. BSU has two players in the top-40, in 25th-ranked senior Damian Hume and 31st-ranked junior James Meredith. Hume won the ITA Mountain Region title in the fall, but he did not compete last week at Stanford. Last season the Broncos went 16-15 overall and made the Western Athletic Conference semifinals. They missed the NCAA tourney last year but previously had qualified six years in a row. Washington topped the Broncos, 5-2, in Seattle last season, taking doubles and the top three singles matches to take control. UW leads the all-time series, 13-4.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington made its first trip to Durham, North Carolina to visit Duke for ITA National Team Indoor Championship Qualifying. The Huskies faced their toughest test yet in the first round, going against 30th-ranked Louisville. UW took the critical doubles point, as Kyle McMorrow and Emmett Egger upset the 24th-ranked duo of Carter and Stiefelmeyer, 8-5, and then Jeff Hawke and Max Manthou pulled out a tiebreak win over Gupta and Damrongsri at second doubles to clinch. McMorrow then beat 113th-ranked Andrew Carter, 6-4, 6-3, and Nicholas Kamisar went to 4-0 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Robert Hall at sixth singles. Manthou then clinched with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Chris Simich at fifth singles, giving UW the 4-0 win with the final three matches halted due to the tourney format. Things got tougher the following day, as the Huskies tried to upset the 10th-ranked Blue Devils on their home courts. Duke took doubles and posted three singles wins for the 4-0 victory. 15th-ranked McMorrow lost a top-20 battle to No. 7 Henrique Cunha 6-3, 6-4, and Egger was upended by 17th-ranked Chris Mengel, 6-4, 6-2. Kamisar was the only Husky leading his match when Duke clinched and the remaining matches were suspended.
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 returns home for a pair of home duals, the first a big non-conference tilt against 31st-ranked Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. The next day the Huskies will play another ranked team in No. 62 UC Santa Barbara at 12 noon.
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.