Dawg netters take down 'Cats

Sixth ranked Alex Vlaski outlasted 64th ranked Roger Matalonga 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 in the featured singles match as 19th ranked Washington defeated #21 Arizona 6-1 in men's tennis at Quillian Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Unlike on Friday, when he got off to a slow start against Chris Stewart of Arizona State, Vlaski wasted no time taking a quick lead against Matalonga, breaking his opponent in the opening game of the first set and then holding serve for a 2-0 lead.

The players exchanged holds through the seventh game with Vlaski leading 4-3, before Matalonga gained two chances to break in the eighth game, going up 15-40 on three unforced errors by Vlaski. On the next point, it looked like Vlaski would save one break chance when a forehand clipped the net and bounced very close to the net, but Matalonga raced in from the baseline and sliced a nicely angled backhand winner just over the net to take the game and tie the set at 4 all.

In the next game, Vlaski had one chance to break back for a 5-4 lead, and he took advantage, placing a backhand approach winner deep in the corner to end a long 29 stroke rally. Vlaski then took the set when Matalonga netted a forehand. Matalonga tied the match at one set each by easily taking the second as he broke Vlaski twice and capitalized on numerous unforced errors.

In the third set, the players held serve through the first three games, with Vlaski leading 2-1. On Matalonga's serve in the fourth game, Vlaski set up double break point with a backhand cross court winner on the 23rd stroke of the rally, and after missing his first chance with a backhand unforced error into the net, he the next chance with a forehand crosscourt passing shot to take a 3-1 lead.

Vlaski then took control of the match, easily holding serve for a 4-1 lead with two aces, a service winner and backhand crosscourt volley, and then breaking an apparently fatigued Matalonga at love to go up 5-1.

With the chance to serve out the match, Vlaski quickly seized three match points at 40-0 with an ace and two service winners, but gave two of them back with errant forehands. He finally ended the three set slugfest on the next point, drilling an inside out forehand crosscourt winner to give the Huskies a 6-0 lead in the match and put them within one point of shutting out the Wildcats.

Arizona avoided the blanking and got on the board when Paul Warkentin defeated Chris Floyd in #6 singles in another three setter, prevailing 6-1,6-7 (3), 6-2.

When the match began the Huskies took the doubles point, as Christoph Palmanshofer and Peter Scharler defeated Warkentin and Tim Mullane 8-3 in the #3 position, and Alex Slovic and Nick Weiss followed with an 8-5 win over Daniel Andrus and Whi Kim in the #2 match.

Arizona took the top double match, as Matalonga and Colin O' Grady broke serve once and made it hold up in an 8-5 victory over Vlaski and Daniel Chu.

After play shifted to singles, Palmanshofer gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead with a 6-3,6-4 triumph over Tom Lloyd at the #4 position, and Chu made it 3-0 Washington, defeating O' Grady 6-4,6-4 at #3.

Slovic then clinched the match with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) win over Kim at #2.

At the #5 position, Scharler lost the first set to Andrus 3-6 and trailed 1-3 in the second before rallying and eventually forcing a tiebreak. He took the tie-break 7-5, and with the Huskies already possessing the four points they needed for victory, Scharler and Andrus went to a third set super-tiebreak to determine the winner of their match.

Scharler eventually prevailed 10-6, and capped off the comeback victory with a backhand lob over Andrus.

With the victory, the Huskies won their third consecutive match and improved to 3-1 in the Pac-10 and 13-6 overall, while Arizona dropped to 1-3 and 12-7.

The Huskies resume their season - ending five match home stand and face arguably their two toughest opponents of the season when they welcome fourth ranked USC to Quillian Stadium on Friday, April 9 and then fifth ranked UCLA on Saturday, April 10. Both matches will begin at 1:30 p.m.

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