Men's Tennis Swings Down To Eugene For Two Duals
Feb. 21, 2012
FRIDAY, FEB. 24 EUGENE, ORE.
SATURDAY, FEB. 25 EUGENE, ORE.
THIS WEEK: After a week off, the Husky men's tennis team looks to pick up right where they left things before the break. Washington (6-2) takes a trip down to Eugene to face 69th-ranked Oregon in the first of two meetings this season, then will remain at Oregon's Student Tennis Center to face 55th-ranked UC Irvine in a neutral site match. The match against the Ducks will not count towards the Pac-12 standings. The Huskies are looking to translate their play at home on to the road, as UW is coming off convincing wins over Michigan and UC Santa Barbara in its past two home matches. The Huskies are 5-0 at home, winning by a combined 34-1, but just 1-2 thus far away from the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Friday's match against the Ducks give the Dawgs a chance for their first true road win. First serve is at 5 p.m. Saturday, the Huskies and Anteaters begin at 2 p.m.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Junior Kyle McMorrow recently became the fourth Husky ever to crack the Top-10 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings, as he jumped to No. 9 on Feb. 16. McMorrow achieved new career-bests in all three singles rankings to be released so far in 2011-12. In the fall preseason rankings, he checked in at No. 22. After a solid fall season with some big wins, he moved up to 15th at the start of January. McMorrow joins a select group of Huskies to crack the ITA's Top-10. Alex Vlaski reached a peak of No. 2 during the 2004 season, Robert Kendrick rose to No. 3 nationally in 1999, and Alex Slovic was ranked No. 9 in 2005. All played for current Husky Head Coach Matt Anger. 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.
SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks are off to an 8-0 start with victories over six unranked teams as well as then-No. 56 Idaho and then-No. 62 UC Santa Barbara, two teams the Huskies also have defeated this season. Oregon has played all eight matches at home thus far. Sophomore Alex Rovello leads UO at the No. 1 spot and he is ranked 122nd nationally. Junior Jeff Mullen transferred from Boise State and helps out the Ducks lineup. The Huskies have won 15 straight matches against the Ducks, including two wins last year and a 5-2 win in Eugene, where the Ducks won the doubles point before the Huskies came back to win the top five singles matches. UW leads the all-time series, 121-6-1.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE: The Anteaters are ranked 55th despite a 1-4 start to the season. They have a busy week with a match with UC Santa Barbara on Monday then a dual against Portland before facing the Huskies. Irvine had a season-opening 7-0 loss to UCLA, and then lost to Fresno State and Alabama in the ITA National Team Indoor qualifying rounds. Last season, the Anteaters reached the NCAA tournament, falling to Ole Miss in the first round to finish with a 19-8 record. Senior Fabian Matthews has played No. 1 singles so far for UC Irvine. In the all-time series, Irvine holds a 9-6 lead. The teams last met in 2010, when the Huskies rolled to a 6-1 victory in Seattle.
DAWG BITES: Kyle McMorrow has already posted six ranked wins this season, including four over current top-25 players and two over No. 8 Evan King of Michigan, and three of his losses this year have come to players ranked second, third, and fourth in the nation ... three freshmen have seen extensive action in the singles lineup this year, with true freshmen Emmett Egger and Viktor Farkas and redshirt freshman Nicholas Kamisar combining to go 16-5 thus far in dual play ... the Huskies are 6-0 at No. 3 singles and 7-0 at No. 6 singles so far this season, their best positions ... Marton Bots is off to a 6-0 start in dual play and is 24-6 in his career, an .800 winning percentage.
LAST TIME OUT: Coming off two tough road setbacks, the Huskies needed to rally against 28th-ranked Michigan back at home on Feb. 11. Washington got off to a great start, taking the second and third doubles matches against the Wolverines. From there, UW excelled in singles, pulling away for a 6-1 victory, with five singles wins in straight sets. Emmett Egger, Marton Bots, Viktor Farkas, and Nicholas Kamisar all won without any sets going past 6-3, with Kamisar clinching at sixth singles, 6-2, 6-2 over Alex Buzzi. The highlight of the day was at No. 1 singles, where 15th-ranked Kyle McMorrow scored a 6-3, 7-6 win over 6th-ranked Evan King, his fourth top-25 win of the year. The next day, Washington backed up the big win over Michigan with a 7-0 sweep of 62nd-ranked UC Santa Barbara. The Dawgs swept the doubles point and then won all six singles matches without dropping a set. Egger rallied from 3-5 down in his second set to beat Greg Scott, 6-1, 7-5, while Kamisar clinched again with another 6-2, 6-2 victory at sixth singles.
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 hosts the Great Northwest Shootout event next week, an annual event whenever the Huskies are not hosting the ITA National Team Indoor event. On Friday, March 2, the Huskies face their second top-25 opponent of the year in No. 23 Tulsa, with first serve at 4 p.m. The next day UW has a rematch against 35th-ranked Louisville at 1 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.