Busy weekend for men's tennis

The University of Washington men's tennis team played busy host to the top collegiate teams in the country this weekend, eventually playing back-to-back matches against top-10 foes Illinois and UCLA. Here's a wrap of all three matches played by the Net Dawgs.

SUNDAY: #14 UW 1, #7 UCLA 4

Ben Kohlloeffel beat Alex Slovic 6-0, 7-6(5) to clinch the match for UCLA as the defending NCAA champion Bruins topped the Huskies 4-1 in a USTA/ITA National Team Indoors consolation match on Sunday night.

The Huskies dropped to 7-2 and finished the Indoors 1-2, suffering their second straight loss after also losing to Illinois in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

In the featured singles match, Kohlloeffel, the third ranked singles player in the country, dominated the first set, winning 11 consecutive points to open the match and 14 of the first 16. He broke Slovic's serve three times and won 26 of 36 points in the set, with 19 coming on winners. Slovic had a break point at 30-40 in the sixth game to avoid getting shut out in the set, but Kohlloeffel drilled an ace to get back to deuce and then won the set on a Slovic unforced error and a service winner.

Slovic held serve at love to open the second set with a 1-0 lead, but Kohlloeffel responded with his own hold for 1-1 and then put pressure on Slovic's serve in the third game. He had two break chances at 15-40 but Slovic got back to deuce with a pair of backhand volley winners. Three deuces and eight points later, Kohlloeffel finally got the break and a 2-1 lead when a backhand by Slovic landed beyond the baseline.

Kohlloeffel held serve for 3-1, but Slovic remained just a break down, and finally got to his opponent's serve in the sixth game, tying the set at 3 all. He had one chance erased by a backhand winner, and faced a game point against, but then won three straight points with a forehand return winner, a forehand crosscourt passing shot and a Kohlloeffel backhand error into the net.

Both players held serve to 6 all, forcing a tiebreak. They did not lose a point on serve until the ninth point, when Kohlloeffel got a mini-break and a 5-4 advantage with a forehand winner. He then came up with a forehand half volley winner to seize two match points at 6-4. Slovic got a mini-break back to close to 5-6 with a forehand crosscourt passing shot and served to extend the tiebreak, but Kohlloeffel put the match away with a big inside out forehand winner into the deuce court. Had Slovic won the tiebreak, the Huskies would have some hope of rallying for an improbable victory as Daneil Chu already won the first set and had gone to a second set tiebreak against Chris Surapol at fourth singles, and Jean Noel Insausti led Mathieu Dehaine 1-0 in the third set of their duel at the third position. With UCLA clinching the match, however, both of those matches got abandoned.

Earlier, the Bruins claimed the doubles point with 8-6 wins at the second and third positions. Abid and Surapol defeated Insausti and Mike Ricks and then Dehaine and Yovan beat Andy Gerst and Klaus Jank.

In singles the Bruins padded their lead to 3-0 with wins at the fifth and sixth positions. Philip Gruendler beat Jank 6-3, 6-1 and Michael Look bested Ricks 6-2, 6-3. Pierre Metenier earned a point and gave the crowd hope of a miraculous comeback with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win over Abid at second singles, but Kohlloeffel quashed those hopes.
SATURDAY: UW 1, #3 Illinois 4

In the fourth and final quarterfinal on Saturday, Ryler DeHeart beat Metenier 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to clinch the match as the third ranked Illini beat the Huskies 4-1.

The Illini handed the Huskies their first loss of the season after seven wins and snapped the Huskies' 15 match home court winning streak.

In the match between DeHeart and Metenier at the second position, one service break proved the difference in both the first and second sets. In the first Metenier got his in the seventh game, but DeHeart returned the favor in the sixth game of the second set. Then in the third set, DeHeart broke Metenier in the opening game and held at love for a 2-0 lead. Metenier held to make it 1-2, and with one break could get the match back on serve. Unfortunately DeHeart did not even give him a look at a break chance and won the final four games to secure a semifinal berth for the Illini.

In doubles Illinois and Washington split the matches at the first and third positions. Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe got the win for Illinois in the top match, beating Daniel Chu and Slovic 8-5. Insausti and Ricks got the Huskies even with an 8-6 triumph over G.D. Jones and Marc Spicijaric. That brought the doubles point down to the match at the second position, with DeHeart and Ruben Gonzales edging Jank and Andy Kuharszky 9-8 and 7-5 in the tiebreak. The Huskies led the tiebreak 5-3, but the Illini won four straight points, including two on Kuharszky's serve, to hand the Huskies a heartbreaking loss.

In singles Anderson gave Illinois a 2-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Insausti at the third position, but Slovic got Washington on the board when he beat Jones 6-3,6-0 in the featured singles match. At the fourth position. Gonzales beat Kuharszky 7-6 (4), 6-4 to give Illinois a 3-1 lead. In that match Gonzales rallied from an 0-3 deficit in the first set tiebreak to win seven of eight points and then only needed one break of Kuharszky's serve in the second set to prevail and set the stage for DeHeart's clincher.
FRIDAY: #14 UW 4, #11 Virginia 1

Daniel Chu rallied to beat Marko Miklo in three sets to clinch the match as the 14th ranked Huskies knocked off the 11th ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the Round of 16 of the USTA/ITA Men's National Team Indoors Championships on Friday evening.

With the win the Huskies improved to 7-0 and extended their home court winning streak to 15 matches.

The match against Virginia could not have begun any better for the Huskies as they won the doubles point and two singles matches to take a 3-0 lead, but in the four remaining singles matches, Alex Slovic (first position), Pierre Metenier (second position), Andy Kuharszky (fourth position) and Chu (fifth position) all came up on the short end of first set tiebreaks. So despite having the 3-0 lead and only needing to win one of four matches in three sets, it seemed like the Huskies had to mount quite the comeback. To their credit they forced third sets in all four matches, and fortunately Chu delivered the decisive point.

After losing the first set 6-7(4), Chu won the second easily 6-2. Then in the third, he and Miklo split the first four games, with both holding serve, In the fifth game Chu finally got a break chance and converted to go up 3-2. So he only needed to hold serve the match and he and the Huskies would win. However, right after his own serve got broken, MIklo got three chances to break right back in the next game, but each time Chu came up with a clutch winner.

After six deuces and eighteen points Miklo gave Chu the game with a pair of forehand unforced errors.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Chu emphatically put the match away with a hold at love. He began the game with a forehand volley winner and then aced Miklo with a serve down the center service line. After an unforced error by Miklo gave him three match points, Chu finished him off with a backhand volley winner.

In doubles, Chu and Slovic broke Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey twice en route to an 8-3 win at the top position. At the third position, the Huskies' Jean Noel Insausti and Mike Ricks beat Darrin Cohen and Doug Stewart 8-5.

In singles Klaus Jank broke Jarrett Chirico once in the first set and twice in the second on his way to a 6-3,6-3 victory at the sixth position, and at the third position, Insausti beat Huey 6-3,6-3.

At the fourth position, Rylan Rizza put up the only point for Virginia, beating Kuharszky 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4.

With the Indoors complete the Huskies return to action and hit the road for the first time this season when they travel to face the Oregon Ducks in Eugene on Friday, February 24 at 6 p.m.

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