13th-Ranked Huskies Host Eagles Friday Evening
March 7, 2012
FRIDAY, MAR. 9 Bill Quillian STADIUM*
THIS WEEK: The 13th-ranked Husky men's tennis team has one final exam on the court before breaking for finals in the classroom. Washington (10-2) faces Eastern Washington this Friday, March 9, at 4 p.m. and the Huskies will move outside to the Bill Quillian Stadium courts for the first time if weather permits. If not, they'll be back inside the Nordstrom Tennis Center where the Dawgs are 7-0 this season. Coming off last weekend's victory at the Great Northwest Shootout, the Huskies made a big jump in the national polls to No. 13, their highest ranking since the 2006 season.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Typically, when the Intercollegiate Tennis Association swithces over to its computer-based rankings formula, there is a major shake-up in the polls. Washington avoided that effect in week one, but this week suddenly produced a major change, and a positive one. The Huskies shot up this week from No. 24 all the way to No. 13 nationally. That is the highest Washington has been ranked since the 2006 season, when they were 10th during the year before finishing 18th. The Dawgs began the season ranked 26th nationally after ending the 2011 season ranked 25th. In the 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 ITA singles rankings, as he jumped to No. 9 on Feb. 16. 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.
SCOUTING EASTERN WASHINGTON: The Eagles are 8-4 so far this season and has a few common opponents with the Huskies. Eastern fell, 6-1, at Oregon which UW beat, 4-3. Senior Chad Henninger had a win over the Ducks, and earned Big Sky Player of the Week for it. EWU also has 6-1 defeats to Boise State and Idaho. The Huskies fell to Boise State, 4-3, but swept Idaho. Sophomore Ilija Cuic, a native of Croatia, plays No. 1 singles for Eastern. Washington improved to 9-0 all-time against the Eagles with a 7-0 victory in Seattle last year.
DAWG BITES: Kyle McMorrow has already posted eight ranked wins this season, including four over current top-25 players and two over No. 10 Evan King of Michigan, and three of his losses this year have come to players ranked second, third, and fourth in the nation ... McMorrow's career dual record is up to 48-13, a .787 winning percentage ... 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 23-8 thus far in dual play ... the Huskies are 11-0 at No. 6 singles so far this season, their best position, with Nicholas Kamisar going 9-0 at that spot ... Kamisar and Max Manthou share the best dual singles record, each going 10-1.
LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies hosted the Great Northwest Shootout at the Nordstrom against 33rd-ranked Tulsa and 30th-ranked Louisville last Friday and Saturday. First up was a dramatic match with the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa. The Dawgs fell behind after doubles, but rallied to win the top two and bottom two singles matches to pull out the 4-3 victory. Kyle McMorrow and Emmett Egger defeated ranked opponents at the top, with McMorrow topping 99th-ranked Japie De Klerk, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 and Egger upsetting 85th-ranked Clifford Marsland, 7-6 (7), 6-4. Max Manthou was a straight set winner at No. 5, and then the match came down to sixth singles, where Nicholas Kamisar bounced back from a second set loss to win the first five games of this third set against Alejandro Sanchez. He needed two tries to serve it out, but eventually sealed the deal, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2. The next day the Huskies came through in doubles to grab the lead. McMorrow and Egger beat 34th-ranked Wagner and Carter of Louisville, and Matt Stith and Marton Bots completed a 2-0 weekend with an 8-5 win at third doubles. McMorrow, Manthou, and Kamisar all then rolled to straight set victories as Washington stopped the proceedings with a 4-0 victory. That was the second time this season that the Huskies handled the tough Louisville squad. The win clinched the tourney title for the Dawgs.
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 has next week off for finals week before closing out the non-conference schedule with two tough road matches. On March 21, the Dawgs will take on their second Top-25 opponent of the year in 15th-ranked Pepperdine. Two days later they'll play 56th-ranked Cal Poly, who UW beat in the NCAA first round last year.
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.