#12 UW 6, #53 Arizona St. 1

Christoph Palmanshofer won the final home match of his career in fine fashion, defeating Jonathan Kinsella 6-1,7-6 (12-10) to clinch the match for the #12 Washington Huskies as they beat #53 Arizona State 6-1 in their home finale on a cloudy Sunday afternoon at Quillian Stadium. With the victory the Huskies (17-4, 5-1) finished with a home record of 14-2 and remain tied with UCLA for first place atop the conference standings. Arizona State dropped to 7-12 and 1-5.

Palmanshofer's triumph also capped a perfect Senior Day as he teamed with Alex Vlaski to win in doubles, and Vlaski and Peter Scharler both came through with victories in singles.

After beating Arizona's Daniel Andrus 6-1,7-6 (7-3)at #3 singles on Friday, Palmanshofer took a similar route to victory on Sunday. Against Kinsella, he easily took the first set 6-1, but trailed in the second 0-3,1-4, and 2-5 before mounting a comeback to tie the set at 5.

Kinsella held serve easily to take a 6-5 lead, but Palmanshofer responded with a hold at love to tie the set at 6 and force a tiebreak. In the tiebreak Kinsella led 6-4 and had two set points but Palmanshofer saved both, the first with an inside out forehand crosscourt winner into the deuce court and the second with a terrific defensive forehand lob. Kinsella had two more set points at 7-6 and 9-8, but again Palmanshofer rose to the occasion, coming up with a backhand volley winner and a big forehand winner into the deuce court. Palmanshofer had two match points of his own at 8-7 and 10-9, but gave up the first with an unforced forehand error, and Kinsella knocked away the second with a service winner.

Palmanshofer got a third match point at 11-10 with a big backhand return winner at Kinsella's feet and finally put the match away with a backhand drop volley.

Playing at #2 doubles, Palmanshofer and Vlaski beat Kinsella and Clint Letcher 8-4. The Huskies dominated on serve in that match, winning 25 of 29 points and 13 consecutive before Letcher snapped the streak with a forehand winner in the seventh game. Vlaski held serve at love in his three service games and Palmanshofer lost only four points.

Given how they dominated on their own serve, the Huskies only needed one break to win the match, and they got it against Letcher in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead when Vlaski drilled a backhand return winner at Kinsella. Just for good measure the Huskies broke Letcher again in the 12th game to wrap up the victory.

Vlaski, the only two time All-American in Husky history, crushed Andy Colombo in the top singles match 6-0,6-2 to put the Huskies up 2 points to none. Vlaski won the first nine games of the match, prompting Colombo to raise his arms in mock triumph when he finally got on the board in the fourth game of the second set. Colombo even held again in the sixth game to make it 2-4 but could do absolutely nothing against Vlaski's serve.

In his final home appearance, Scharler defeated Nick Hegarty 6-2,6-2 at #6 singles to put the Huskies up 3-0 and set the stage for Palmanshofer's clincher.

In other matches, the Huskies won the doubles point as the duo of Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic defeated Colombo and Mike Beatty in the featured match. The Huskies broke Colombo in the sixth game to go up 4-2 on a backhand winner into the deuce alley by Chu and then broke Beatty to finish the match, winning the final point on a backhand return winner by Chu.

The Huskies then swept doubles as Andy Kuharszky and Mike Ricks went to a tiebreak before beating Hegarty and Ryan McBride 9-8(7-5).

In other singles matches, the Sun Devils got their only point at #5 as McBride beat Kuharszky 6-4,6-4. At #4, Chu dropped the first set 5-7 to Christopher Biro but came back to win the second 6-2. With the Huskies already assured of the team victory, Chu and Biro went to a ten point super-tiebreak. Biro led 3-2 but Chu won five points in a row to go up 7-3. Biro won the next two points for 5-7, but Chu won three of the next four points to close out the match and put Washington up 5-1.

In the final match of the day, in #2 singles, Slovic and Letcher went the distance, playing three sets. Slovic won the first 6-4 and Letcher the second 6-4. In the third, Slovic led 5-4 and served for the match, but Letcher made him work for it, as he had two break chances. Slovic saved the first with a service winner and the second with a forehand volley winner. Slovic himself had a pair of match points and converted the second chance with a forehand half volley winner into the deuce court to send the Husky faithful home happy.

The Huskies close out the regular season on the road when they travel to face the Oregon Ducks at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 16. A win by the Huskies will clinch a share of the Pac-10 title with UCLA, while a win coupled with a UCLA loss to #13 USC will give the Huskies the outright title.

Following the finale against Oregon the Huskies will travel to Ojai, California for the individual Pac-10 Championships from Thursday, April 21 to April 24.

Then, after a three week break the Huskies will begin postseason play in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, May 14.

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