No. 17 Huskies Hit California Coast For Two Duals
March 20, 2012
WEDNESDAY, MAR. 21 MALIBU, CALIF.
FRIDAY, MAR. 23 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF.
THIS WEEK: It is spring break in Seattle but the 17th-ranked Husky men's tennis team has two big tests on hand, as it travels down the California coast to visit 8th-ranked Pepperdine and 52nd-ranked Cal Poly. Wednesday's match in Malibu against the Waves will be Washington's second crack this year at a Top-10 team. First serve will be at 1 p.m. Two days later, the Huskies (11-2) will face a familiar foe in Cal Poly at 11 a.m. The Huskies defeated the Mustangs twice last year, including once in the NCAA tournament, but CP will be looking for revenge on its home courts. That match gets underway at 11 a.m. and will bring Washington's non-conference schedule to a close.
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 week two suddenly produced a major change, and a positive one. The Huskies shot up from No. 24 all the way to No. 13 nationally, before checking in at No. 17 each of the past two weeks. The No. 13 ranking was 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 last individual rankings, junior Kyle McMorrow slipped a few spots to No. 17. He has been ranked as high as No. 9 this season, making him the fourth Husky ever to crack the Top-10 in the ITA singles rankings. 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, then to No. 9 on Feb. 16. 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. McMorrow and Emmett Egger also got back into the doubles rankings on March 13, coming in at No. 63.
SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: The Waves are ranked eighth nationally even with just a 9-6 record on the season. Pepperdine lost six matches in a row in February, but five of them were against Top-10 opponents, and the sixth was against 13th-ranked California. Since then, the Waves have come back to win six in a row, including 4-3 wins over Tulsa and Duke, two teams UW has faced this season, and a 4-0 win over Cal in a rematch. Pepperdine will face Nebraska on Tuesday before hosting the Huskies. The Waves have two Top-20 singles players at the moment in 11th-ranked Sebastian Fanselow and 19th-ranked Finn Tearney, both juniors. Mousheg Hovhannisyan is also ranked 76th. In doubles, Tearney and senior Alex Llompart are ranked 3rd in the nation, and Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer are ranked 75th. Last year Pepperdine came to Seattle and earned a 5-2 win over the Huskies, taking a 5-3 lead in the all-time series.
SCOUTING CAL POLY: The 52nd-ranked Mustangs began the year with three losses to San Diego, San Diego State, and Pepperdine, but then reeled off eight wins in a row before losing at Boise State, 5-2. But Cal Poly bounced back with a big home win over Nebraska to improve to 9-4. Cal Poly had a big 6-1 road win at Arizona during its win streak. Washington beat the Mustangs twice last year, including a 4-0 win in the first round of the NCAA Championships, with singles wins from Kyle McMorrow, Marton Bots, and Martin Kildahl. Junior Andre Dome has made a big climb up the rankings this year and is ranked 25th in singles. The Huskies now have a 6-1 lead in the series with the Mustangs.
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, third, fourth, and eighth in the nation ... McMorrow's career dual record is up to 49-13, a .790 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 25-8 thus far in dual play ... the Huskies are 12-0 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 11-1.
LAST TIME OUT: The 13th-ranked Husky men's tennis team cruised to a 7-0 win against Eastern Washington on March 9, not surrendering a set at any position. Senior Skyler Tateishi got a start at third doubles and sixth singles and posted wins in both spots. At third doubles, he teamed with redshirt freshman Nicholas Kamisar, the first start for Kamisar in doubles, and they beat Chad Henninger and Julian Sanchez, 8-2. Freshman Viktor Farkas teamed with Kyle McMorrow at No. 1 doubles for an 8-1 win. Marton Bots and Matt Stith also had an 8-4 win at second doubles as the Huskies took the early lead. Going down the line in singles play, 12th-ranked McMorrow was a 6-2, 6-0 winner over No. 1 Eagle Ilija Luic. Bots defeated James Russell at second singles, 6-3, 6-3, and sophomore Max Manthou moved up to No. 3 singles and took care of Mario Navarro, 6-2, 6-0. Farkas won his No. 4 match over Henninger, 6-3, 6-1, and Kamisar was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Sanchez at fifth singles. In the sixth spot, Tateishi overcame Kyle Koetje in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
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: Pac-12 play begins in a big way as two top-five opponents come to Seattle. First up is No. 1-ranked USC, the defending NCAA Champions who have yet to lose a match this season. That dual is set for Friday, March 30, at 1:30 p.m. The next day, the Huskies take on fourth-ranked UCLA at 1 p.m. Both matches will be outdoors at the Bill Quillian Stadium, weather permitting.
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.