No. 24 Huskies Host Tulsa, Louisville In Shootout Event
Feb. 28, 2012
FRIDAY, MaR. 2 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
SATURDAY, MAR. 3 NORDSTROM TENNIS CENTER
THIS WEEK: The regular season hits the halfway point this weekend for the Husky men's tennis team, which cracked the Top-25 for the first time this week at No. 24. Washington has two very big matches on hand this week as part of its semi-annual Great Northwest Shootout, which UW hosts every year that it is not hosting the ITA National Team Indoor tourney. The tournament works as a three-team round robin. Friday, the Huskies (8-2) host a very talented Tulsa team, ranked 19th last week until the new computer rankings shuffled up the poll and dropped Tulsa to No. 33. First serve for that match is 4 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Washington plays again on Saturday at 1 p.m. against 30th-ranked Louisville, with the Huskies looking for a second win this season over the Cardinals. Louisville and Tulsa then face off on Sunday at 10 a.m.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Intercollegiate Tennis Association switched over to a computer-based rankings system this week, causing a big shift for many teams. Washington did not make a huge jump, but did trend upwards, rising three spots into the Top-25 for the first time this season at No. 24. The Dawgs began the season ranked 26th nationally after ending the 2011 season ranked 25th. In the new individual rankings, junior Kyle McMorrow slipped three spots out of the Top-10 to No. 12. In the previous poll, McMorrow 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. Freshman Emmett Egger was ranked 10th in the ITA newcomer rankings in the fall.
SCOUTING TULSA: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane was ranked 19th in the nation last week but the shift to the computer formula dropped them to 33rd this week. But Tulsa is a very formidable team even with a 6-6 record, as they have played a very tough schedule. Tulsa made the NCAA round of 16 last year for the first time in school history. Their most recent loss was a 4-3 decision to 13th-ranked Pepperdine. That was their fourth loss to a Top-25 team, though all have been played at home. But Tulsa also has a 6-1 win over current No. 15 Texas A&M, and a 5-2 win over current No. 21 Texas Tech. Tulsa has won five straight Conference USA Player of the Week honors, with junior Clifford Marsland winning the last two. Senior Ashley Watling is ranked 65th in singles, Marsland is ranked 85th, and sophomore No. 1 singles player Japie De Klerk is 99th. Watling and Marsland are one of the top doubles duos in the country, ranking third overall, and they reached the NCAA Doubles round of 16 last year.
SCOUTING LOUISVILLE: The 30th-ranked Cardinals will be looking to avenge a 4-0 loss to the Huskies from early this season at the ITA National Team Indoor qualifying rounds at Duke. Louisville has won five of its last six matches to improve to 8-4, the only loss coming to current No. 2 Ohio State. They will face Northwestern on Wednesday at home. Freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer was named Big East Player of the Week this week after a No. 1 singles win over Wake Forest in a 4-3 Cardinals win. Andrew Carter and Albert Wagner are ranked 34th nationally in doubles. Kyle McMorrow and Emmett Egger had a key doulbes win against them in the first meeting. McMorrow defeated Carter at No. 1 singles in that match, but Stiefelmeyer has since moved to the top spot. UW also had wins at five and six singles from Max Manthou and Nicholas Kamisar. The Huskies are now 3-0 all-time against the Cardinals.
DAWG BITES: Kyle McMorrow has already posted seven 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 20-7 thus far in dual play ... the Huskies are 7-1 at No. 3 singles and 9-0 at No. 6 singles so far this season, their best positions ... Marton Bots is off to a 7-1 start in dual play and is 25-7 in his career, an .781 winning percentage.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington got back in action after a week off, and started with a tough road trip to Eugene to face a tough Ducks squad that had won its first nine matches to get into the rankings. Oregon came out and took the doubles point from the Dawgs before UW righted the ship. Kyle McMorrow had a straight set win over 122nd-ranked Alex Rovello at No. 1, and Max Manthou and Nicholas Kamisar each won in straight sets to put the Huskies up 3-1. But then Oregon pulled out three set wins at second and third singles to tie things back up at 3-3. It came down to fourth singles, where freshman Viktor Farkas was taking on Daniel Sardu with the match on the line. Farkas lost the first set, 3-6, and went to a tiebreaker in the second set. But he pulled out the breaker, 7-5, and then pulled away in the third set for the 6-3 win, giving UW the 4-3 victory. The next day UW stayed in Eugene to face 54th-ranked UC Irvine. A doubles point sweep got the Huskies going, and they won the first five singles matches for a 5-0 lead before the Anteaters pulled out the last two matches to make it 5-2. Marton Bots got the clincher with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Jacob Jung at third singles. Emmett Egger, Manthou, and Kamisar all won in straight sets as well.
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 head into the final week of winter quarter with one dual against Eastern Washington on Friday, March 9, at 4 p.m., which will be followed by an off week for finals and then the final non-conference matches of the year at Pepperdine and Cal Poly in mid-March.
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.