UW Set To Host USTA/ITA National Team Indoors
Feb. 14, 2006
THIS WEEK: Washington men's tennis (6-0) is set to host the 2006 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship beginning Friday, Feb. 17 through Monday, Feb. 20. Matches will take place at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center on the UW campus and the Seattle Tennis Club. The tournament field boasts 16 of the nation's premier programs, including 10 of the top 11 teams from the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings. The 12th-seeded Huskies will open tournament play versus No. 6 seed Virginia, Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. The meeting will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Round of 16 contest, in which Virginia ousted UW from the tournament with a 4-0 victory.
THE FIELD: Host Washington received the No. 12 seed and will be joined by No. 1 seed Florida, No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 Illinois, No. 4 Pepperdine, No. 5 Mississippi, No. 6 Virginia, No. 7 UCLA, No. 8 Baylor, No. 9 Duke, No. 10 LSU, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 13 Florida State, No. 14 Arkansas, No. 15 Colorado and No. 16 Penn. Baylor is the defending National Team Indoor Champion, while UCLA is the reigning NCAA champion.
THE DRAW: The tournament draw is listed in schedule order below. First-round matches take place on Friday, Feb. 17. A complete bracket displayed on page 3. Matches will take place each day at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at both the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Seattle Tennis Club. If Washington loses its first round match, it will play at the Nordstrom Tennis Center, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
THE VENUES: Matches will take place at two different locations. The Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center is located on the Washington campus, just east of Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Seattle Tennis Club is located at 922 McGilvra, Blvd., just over three miles from campus. Take the Montlake Blvd. exit off Highway 520, and go through the University of Washington Arboretum (Lake Washington Blvd.). Turn left on Madison and turn right onto McGilvra. The club is on the left side of the street.
COVERAGE: Full results and an updated bracket will be available at the National Team Indoors page at GoHuskies.com. Live scoring and a free live webcast of matches played at the Nordstrom Tennis Center will be available. Matches at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Saturday and Sunday will also be broadcast at RadioTennis.com with Ken Thomas calling the action.
HUSKY HISTORY IN TOURNAMENT: Washington has competed in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor competition three previous times in 2004, 2001, and 1999. The Huskies hosted the competition the three years they participated in the tournament. Most recently in 2004, the Dawgs finished the tournament tied for 9th. In the first round No. 11 Washington suffered a close loss to the seventh ranked University of Mississippi 4-3. The Huskies ralled from the loss tallying two straight wins over No. 15 Boise State and No. 14 Harvard.The 2001 tournament saw then No. 19 Washington upset fourth-ranked Georgia 4-3 in the first round before losing to No. 5 Duke in the second round, 4-0. The Huskies then pulled another upset in the consolation round, 4-1 over eighth -ranked Florida to finish tied for fifth. The Huskies made another impressive showing in their USTA/ITA debut in 1999, hammering No. 3 Mississippi State, 5-1, before the 18th-ranked Dawgs fell 4-3 to No. 4 UCLA, the eventual champ. Washington finished tied seventh that year.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS: Washington will face the 11th-ranked Cavaliers of the University of Virginia in Friday's first round. Virginia is off to a 7-3 start competing against six teams ranked in the Top-25 rankings. The Cavaliers have four doubles pairs ranked in the top 50 and four players ranked in singles. Leading the charge are a pair of sophomores, Treat Huey and Somdev Devvarman whom are ranked sixth and 10th respectively. The Cavs are coming off a tough loss to No. 20 Texas in their last dual match.
UW VERSUS THE FIELD: The Huskies' all-time records versus the 2006 National Team Indoor Championship teams are as follows: 2-2 vs. Pepperdine; 0-0 vs. Florida St; 0-1 vs. Mississippi; 0-0 vs. South Carolina; 1-0 vs. Florida; 0-0 vs. Pennsylvania; 1-1 vs. Baylor; 0-1 vs. Duke; 1-2 vs. Georgia; 7-2 vs. Colorado; 1-22 vs. UCLA; 0-0 vs. LSU; 0-1 vs. Virginia; 1-2 vs. Illinois, 1-1 vs. Arkansas.
BAYLOR'S QUEST FOR A TWO-PEAT: Eighth-seeded and defending ITA National Indoor Champion Baylor will be looking to defend its title. Five teams have repeated as champions including Stanford in 1975-76 and 1994-95, Southern California in 1987-88, UCLA in 1996-97, and Illinois in 2003-04.
AN EARLY INDICATOR: On nine occasions the team that won the USTA/ITA title went on to win the NCAA title in May, including the 2003 champ Illinois. There have also been four times when the USTA/ITA runner-up went on to win the NCAAs.
CALIFORNIA'S DOMINANCE: A university from the state of California has won the USTA/ITA National Indoor Title 25 out of the 31 times the tournament has been held. Stanford leads the field with 12 wins and UCLA follows as a close second with 7. From 1990 to 2002 the two Pac-10 schools traded the title between themselves 13 consecutive times.
A POOL OF TALENT: Thirty-four of the top 100 in the ITA national singles rankings are competing in this year's tournament, including 10 of the top 20. Leading the way are No. 1 Lars Poerschke of defending champion Baylor and No. 2 John Isner of Georgia. Also in the top 20 are: Benjamin Kohlloeffel of UCLA (3), Treat Huey of Virginia (6), Ryler Deheart of Illinois (7), Ludovic Walter of Duke (9), Somdev Devvarman of Virginia (10), Strahinja Bobusic of Georgia (12), Blake Strode of Arkansas (19), and Jonathan Stokke (20) of Duke. The tournament also includes two Top-10 doubles teams; Georgia's Colin Purcell and Strahinja Bobusic and Duke's Joey Atas and Jonathan Stokke.
USTA/ITA HISTORY: The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship began in 1973 and is the ITA's longest running event. In its formative years it was held in Madison, Wis., and was staged as an eight-team national invitational tournament, but not all of the top teams initially chose to participate. It was in Madison where John McEnroe helped Stanford to the 1978 title. After Madison, and one year in Princeton, the tournament was actually held outdoors at UCLA for three-year s before beginning its stint in Louisville, Ky., from 1985-98. Louisville also hosted in 2000, '02 and '03. Washington first hosted in 1999, again in 2001, 2004, 2006, and the Huskies are slated to have the tournament at home in 2008.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Alex Slovic holds the top ranking in singles for the Dawgs at No. 32; Slovic also will team up again with doubles partner Daniel Chu. The duo finish the season last year ranked 17th in the nation and plan to build on their preseason ranking of 45th in the ITA. Transfer student Klaus Jank, arriving from the University of Freibug in Germany is also ranked in the ITA at No. 80. Jank was also ranked in the Top-50 German Junior rankings. These rankings reflect the latest posting of the ITA, which occurred on January 10, 2006. The ITA updated the team rankings on February 14, keeping the Huskies at No. 14, despite two 7-0 wins against ranked opponents.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies won a pair of matches last weekend, defeating No. 75 Denver 7-0 on Friday, before a 7-0 win over No. 72 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. The wins mark the sixth win in dual play for Washington and the second and third straight wins over ranked opponents. The Dawgs are now 3-0 when facing ranked opponents.
A SEASON TO REMEMBER: The Huskies enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history last year, reaching the NCAA sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years and sharing the Pac-10 Conference trophy with UCLA - the eventual 2005 NCAA Champion. To start off the season the Huskies defeated two top 20 opponents to win the Great Northwest Shootout over Minnesota, Ohio, and Tulane. The tournament established Washington as one of the premier teams for the year, moving the Huskies up in the rankings. The Huskies began conference play with two wins over Stanford and California, the level of play continued throughout the season giving the Washington a 6-1 record in the Pac-10 and a piece of the conference title. In the NCAA Tournament the Dawgs were awarded the No. 15 seed and were chosen to host a regional for the first time in school history. Washington rallied off two consecutive wins to reach the round of 16 where they fell to the second -seeded Virginia.
UP NEXT: Washington follows its tournament run by embarking on the team's first road trip of the 2006 dual season. The Huskies will play Oregon on Friday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. and Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. Both matches will take place in Eugene, Ore.