Huskies Back On Court To Start The Fall
Sept. 29, 2011
SEATTLE - Two perfect fall days helped usher in the first two days of practice for the Husky men's tennis team this week. Nine Huskies joined coaches Matt Anger and Chris Russell on the outdoor courts under blue skies in the late afternoon.
"I have been very eager to get back out on the court," said Coach Anger, heading into his 18th season at Washington. "It seems so long ago that we were competing in the NCAA tournament in May."
Washington advanced to the second round of NCAAs this past spring, its 17th straight NCAA appearance under Anger. Based on UW's NCAA singles lineup, they have three starters to replace this year with seniors Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Martin Kildahl, and Tobi Obenaus graduating. Freshman Daniel Schmidt, who started several matches as well, chose to transfer.
But the Huskies return some key pieces, starting with All-Pac-10 First Team junior Kyle McMorrow, who is ranked 22nd in singles to start the fall. Junior Marton Bots, who was 18-6 in dual play last year, will get a full fall season for the first time, and sophomore Max Manthou could see a lot more playing time this year after he started in both of Washington's NCAA matches.
Seniors Matt Stith and Skyler Tateishi give the Huskies great leadership. Stith was 4-1 in dual matches last year in doubles play and could be a mainstay in the lineup this season. Tateishi is coming back from shoulder surgery that cut short what had been an excellent start to his fall last year. And redshirt freshman Nicholas Kamisar will be getting his first official match play in just a couple weeks.
"Then we've got three new freshmen and they're eager and I feed off of that, and hopefully they feed off the energy of everyone working together," said Anger, adding "It's a lot of fun."
Egger is ranked 29th in the preseason doubles rankings with McMorrow, and the two will be playing in the qualifying doubles draw next week at the ITA All-American Championships. McMorrow will be in the main singles draw, and "keeping an eye on them and making sure that they're sharp and ready to be playing matches in a week" is one focus of this first week, says Anger.
The rest of the first few days of practice is a lot about evaluation. "Just seeing where our returning guys are at and seeing how the new guys stack up," says Anger.
Wednesday's practice ended around 5:30 with some doubles play, and the team then headed into the Nordstrom Tennis Center for their first yoga session of the year to work on their flexibility. Look for the Dawgs to be nice and loose when UW hosts the ITA Northwest Regionals beginning October 21.