Men's Tennis Back In Action For Fall Season
Sept. 29, 2009
This week marks the return to the courts for the Washington men's tennis team, as the fall tournament season kicks off in early October. The Huskies have a number of top returners and know that a strong fall can pave the way for team and individual NCAA tournament bids way down the line May of next year.
Despite the sudden chill that signals fall is on the way in Seattle, the men have trained outside the past two days on the Bill Quillian Courts. Junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, ranked 32nd in the preseason ITA singles rankings, was hitting this afternoon with Matt Stith on court two. One court over was junior Tobi Obenaus and newcomer Kyle McMorrow, and junior Brad Bator was working against Derek Drabble, the only senior on this year's roster, one court further east. Before long the Dawgs switched over and paired up for some doubles work.
Head coach Matt Anger has been through this process for 16 seasons now, but the anticipation never wears off when a new year gets underway.
"Without a doubt it's an exciting time for me. Each new season is its own lifetime," said Anger. "But what's most exciting this year is we have a number of upperclassmen with experience and to see how eager they are makes everybody around them excited. Four of them have postseason experience--winning in the postseason--and we've got a lot of guys that think they're ready for that as well."
Three Husky freshmen--McMorrow, Piriya Saengsuwarn, and Nick Tchernikov--dove into their first college practices and Coach Anger came away impressed.
"The newcomers have been fitting in very well just through the first two days. They will do very well with our group. Kyle is definitely ready for college tennis," Anger says. "I woke up at 3:47 this morning thinking about our team and they were all good thoughts."
The season-opener for a handful of Huskies will be the D'Novo ITA All-American Championships, hosted by the University of Tulsa. The All-American features the largest field of any tournament all year, with qualifying and prequalifying rounds feeding into a 64-player main draw. Nedunchezhiyan has earned an automatic bid into the main singles draw, and will try to qualify along with Drabble. Obenaus and Drabble are also scheduled to play prequalifying singles matches. The first day of match play is this Saturday, October 3. Main draw action begins Thursday, October 8.