#15 UW 6, #48 Oregon 1

Washington's 15th ranked men's tennis team concluded its season opening homestand with a 6-1 win over Pac-10 rival and 48th ranked Oregon on Sunday afternoon at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

The Huskies won the doubles point and prevailed in five of six singles matches as they improved to 9-2 for the season. In the top doubles match the duo of Alex Vlaski and Daniel Chu broke Chad Wilson all three times he served en route to an 8-4 victory over Wilson and Arron Spencer. The first break came in the fourth game and got the Huskies even at 2 after the Ducks had just broken Chu to take a 2-1 lead. The second break gave the Huskies a lead they would not relinquish at 5-3 after Chu held to put them up 4-3.

The final break gave the Huskies the match. In that game Spencer committed a pair of unforced errors and Chu hit a sizzling backhand return winner to give the Huskies three match points at 0-40, and Chu secured the win with a perfectly placed backhand return between Spencer and Wilson.

At #2 doubles Andy Kuharszky and Alex Slovic broke serve in the 10th game and proceeded to beat Thomas Bieri and Vladimir Pino 8-5 to clinch the doubles point for Washington. Unfortunately Christoph Palmanshofer and Michael Ricks could not complete the sweep for the Huskies as they suffered a 9-7 loss to Chris Liao and Sven Swinnen at #3. The Huskies and Ducks battled to a 7-7 tie before the Ducks broke Ricks in the 15th game to take an 8-7 lead. Then Liao served to close out the match.

When play shifted to singles the Huskies dominated. Peter Scharler put Washington ahead 2-0 with an easy 6-2,6-0 win over Wilson at #6. Chu made it 3-0 Huskies with a 6-1,6-3 defeat of Spencer at #4 and Kuharszky won the clincher at #5, defeating Pino 6-3,6-2. Slovic beat Bieri 6-3,6-1 at #3 to make it 5-0 Huskies and leave it up to Palmanshofer and Vlaski in the top two singles matches to shut out the Ducks and give the Huskies a sweep.

Palmanshofer did his part, beating Manuel Kost 6-3,7-6(2) in #2 singles. Palmanshofer got a break in the fourth game of the first set and a 3-1 lead when Kost double faulted and that turned out to be the difference in the set. In the second set both Kost and Palmanshofer dominated on serve, forcing the set to a tiebreak. At one point the two combined to win 22 consecutive points before Palmanshofer hit a terrific running crosscourt forehand winner in the 11th game. That seemed to give Palmanshofer a lift as he won the next two points and actually had a chance to break for a 6-5 lead and serve for the match, but Kost saved the break chance with a service winner.

After an unforced error gave Palmanshofer another break chance Kost proceeded to win the next three points and go up 6-5 himself with a pair of aces and a forehand winner off a big serve. In the tiebreak, after Kost won the first point with a forehand approach, Palmanshofer won the next six points, including one on a code violation against Kost for ball abuse, and had five match points. Kost made it 6-2 with a forehand approach winner but then he gave Palmanshofer the match with a forehand into the net.

That left only Vlaski for the Huskies and Swinnen for the Ducks on court in the top singles match. Vlaski overcame a 1-4 deficit to take the first set 6-4, but Swinnen came back to win the second 6-4, punctuating the set with a break of Vlaski at love.

In the third, the two players dominated serve through the seventh game with Swinnen holding a 4-3 lead. Then in the eighth game, two unforced errors by Vlaski and two big forehand winners by Swinnen gave the Duck the break and a 5-3 lead, and he had a chance to serve out the match and salvage some pride for the Ducks. He took a 30-0 lead with a service winner and an ace. Vlaski got a point back with a backhand return crosscourt winner but Swinnen finished the match with a forehand volley winner and a forehand down the line in the ad court.

With the setback Vlaski suffered his first singles loss in dual matches after starting the season 7-0.

The Huskies hit the road for the first time in 2005 when they visit San Diego State on Sunday, March 6 and the University of San Diego on Monday, March 7.

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