Final Homestand Starts With Utah And Arizona
April 11, 2012
FRIDAY, APR. 13 Bill Quillian STADIUM*
SUNDAY, APR. 15 Bill Quillian STADIUM*
THIS WEEK: Looking to rally at home with the postseason looming, the Husky men's tennis team hosts new Pac-12 member Utah this Friday followed by familiar foe Arizona on Sunday afternoon. Both matches will be played outdoors at Bill Quillian Stadium, weather permitting. The Huskies (12-7, 0-4) will be focused on bouncing back from recent struggles against the California conference members, all four of which were ranked in the top-12. The Dawgs now have a chance to build momentum at home with the Pac-12 Championships just three weeks away. First serve against the Utes on Friday is at 1:30 p.m., and the Arizona match is set for 11 a.m.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Huskies remain in the Top-25 for the seventh consecutive rankings period this week, coming in right at No. 25 after ranking 22nd the past few weeks. On March 6, the Dawgs jumped up to a season-high No. 13, then were ranked 17th over the next 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 newest individual rankings, junior Kyle McMorrow checks in at No. 18 in singles. 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.
DAWG BITES: Kyle McMorrow has posted 10 ranked wins this season, including five over current top-40 players and two over No. 8 Evan King of Michigan, and five of his losses this year have come to players currently ranked in the Top-10 in the nation ... McMorrow's career dual record is up to 51-17, a .750 winning percentage ... the Huskies are 9-0 this season when winning the doubles point but just 3-7 when they don't grab the early 1-0 lead ... Max Manthou had a team-best seven-match win streak in singles from Feb. 12 to Mar. 23.
SCOUTING UTAH: The Utes are unranked and yet have three singles players in the national rankings. Two are freshmen: 50th-ranked Slim Hamza and 124th-ranked Rafael Davidian. Junior Dmytro Mamedov is also ranked 123rd in singles. However, unranked senior Benito Suriano plays No. 1 singles for Utah. F.D. Robbins has now been the head coach at Utah for 25 seasons. Utah is 11-9 overall and 0-4 in Pac-12 play, but posted some solid results against the four California Pac-12 squads at home, including a 4-3 loss to Stanford and 5-2 loss to No. 1 USC. Hamza is 4-0 in Pac-12 singles matches, all at the No. 3 spot. The teams have not met for some time, but Utah holds a 6-3 all-time series lead.
SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats won their first three matches of the year but since then have lost 14 of 16 matches to come to 5-14 for the year and 0-4 in Pac-12 play having lost to the four California Pac-12 schools. Still, Arizona had close 5-2 losses at home to both Cal and Stanford. The Wildcats have a very young roster with eight freshmen or sophomores and just one junior. Sophomore Giacomo Miccini plays No. 1 singles. Freshman Sumeet Shinde has gone 3-1 in Pac-12 singles matches thus far. Last season the Huskies and Wildcats also met in Seattle, with UW earning a 6-1 win. Just two Arizona players from that match remain on this year's roster. The Huskies now have a 14-11 lead in the series. Tad Berkowitz is in his seventh season leading Arizona.
LAST TIME OUT: The final regular season road trip took the Dawgs down to the Bay Area to face 12th-ranked California and 11th-ranked Stanford. The Huskies were not at their sharpest and suffered 7-0 defeats on Friday and Saturday. Against the Bears, only freshman Viktor Farkas went three sets in singles. He lost the first set in a tiebreak at No. 5 singles to Gregory Bayane, then won the second set in another tiebreak. The final super-tiebreak went to Bayane, 10-2. The next day, the Huskies nearly claimed the doubles point, which could have provided a major lift, but Stanford eked it out, 2-1, with a tiebreak victory at No. 3 doubles, with 53rd-ranked Morrissey and Stineman edging Jeff Hawke and Max Manthou, 9-8 (7-5). Marton Bots and Matt Stith had earned an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles. The Cardinal then won five matches in straight sets. Kyle McMorrow went three with former NCAA Champ Bradley Klahn at No. 1 singles, but Klahn came back for a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win. Freshman Emmett Egger also had a close 6-4, 7-5 loss to 25th-ranked Ryan Thacher at second singles.
UP NEXT: Senior Day arrives for the Huskies on Saturday, April 21, as Oregon comes to town to close out the regular season. Washington will honor seniors Matt Stith and Skyler Tateishi before the match, which begins at 2 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.