Big Home Week For Huskies Brings Michigan, UCSB
Feb. 7, 2012
SATURDAY, FEB. 11 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
SUNDAY, FEB. 12 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
THIS WEEK: The 26th-ranked Huskies are back at home in the Nordstrom Tennis Center this week with 28th-ranked Michigan and 62nd-ranked UC Santa Barbara lined up for what promises to be an intense two days of tennis. Washington (4-2) is looking to bounce back from a narrow road setback last week, while the Wolverines and Gauchos are both off to strong starts themselves. The top-30 battle between UW and Michigan is set for Saturday at 2 p.m., and first serve with the Gauchos is at 12 noon on Sunday.
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 Feb. 7, 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 MICHIGAN: The Wolverines have won three straight non-conference matches, beating Maryland, Louisville, and LSU to improve to 4-2. UM defeated Louisville by a 5-2 count, and the Huskies have also faced the Cardinals, winning 4-0. Another common opponent is Duke, which beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, 4-3, while UW lost to Duke, 4-0, in Durham, N.C. Michigan's only other loss was a 4-3 setback to then-No. 21 Texas Tech. The Wolverines have one of the nation's top-ranked singles players in sixth-ranked Evan King. Kyle McMorrow had a victory over King in the fall at the ITA All-American Championships. King and Shaun Bernstein rank 22nd in doubles and hold down the No. 1 spot. King advanced to the NCAA Singles Round of 16 last year and Michigan as a team lost in the NCAA first round. The Wolverines hold a slight 2-1 margin in the all-time series, and earned a 4-3 win last season over the Dawgs in Ann Arbor.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos are off to a 4-2 start and will stop off in Eugene to face Oregon before continuing up to Seattle. UCSB has already faced NCAA Champs USC, falling 7-0, and earned an upset win over then-36th-ranked BYU, 4-2. The Gauchos were 8-10 a year ago. Junior Benjamin Recknagel was a All-Big West first team selection in singles last year and Mathieu Forget earned second team honors. The Huskies hold a 2-0 edge in the all-time series.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies headed to Boise for a non-conference battle with 50th-ranked Boise State. The Huskies were edged in a series of tiebreaks that ultimately led to a 4-3 upset win for the Broncos. Kyle McMorrow and Emmett Egger won the No. 1 doubles match, 8-5, but BSU won at second doubles and then took the point with a tiebreak victory at the No. 3 spot in an early momentum swinger. McMorrow got UW back even with a very impressive 6-3, 6-2 win over 31st-ranked James Meredith. Boise State went back on top with a 6-3, 7-6 (1) win at No. 5 singles over Nick Kamisar and Viktor Farkas fell at fourth singles, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5), as tiebreaks continued to be unkind to UW. Marton Bots rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Scott Sears at third singles, and Max Manthou also battled from a set down to beat Fillip Pogostkin, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 at No. 6 singles, but BSU clinched at second singles where Emmett Egger lost in three to Andrew Bettles, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
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: The Huskies have a week off before heading to Eugene for a pair of matches on Feb. 24-25. The first dual will be a non-conference showdown with the Oregon Ducks. The next day the Huskies will stay at Oregon for a neutral site match against UC Irvine.
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.