The Huskies improved to 18-4 overall and 5-1 in the Pac-10 and currently trail co-leaders UCLA and Stanford, both 6-1, by a half match. The Bruins secured their share of the Pac-10 title with a 4-3 win at USC on Friday while the Cardinal claimed its share of the conference crown with a 5-2 win at California on Saturday.
The Huskies face Cal on Wednesday, April 26 at
11 a.m. in Ojai, California in the makeup of a
postponed match. Should they win the Huskies will
claim their share of the title.
Of the match against Cal, head coach Matt Anger
said, "Cal is a very strong, experienced team,
(especially) at the top of the lineup. (Top singles
player and third ranked) Conor Niland is playing as
well as anyone in the country and has not lost (19-0)
this season. Lennart Maack and Tyler Browne are very
solid as well. It should be a great match."
In Saturday's home finale before an unusually
large crowd due to the annual UW Spring Fling, Pierre
Metenier punctuated the sweep and his final home match
as a Husky with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Thomas Bieri at
second singles. After he won the first set, Metenier
and Bieri played a tight second set, dueling to 5 all.
Metenier had two chances to break Bieri for a 6-5
lead, and after giving up one with a forehand unforced
error, converted the second on a volley error by
Bieri. He then held serve easily to close out the
In the top singles match 32nd ranked Alex Slovic
prevailed over 76th ranked Markus Shiller in straight
sets. Slovic won the first 6-3. The key to winning the
set came in the sixth game when Slovic broke Shiller's
serve. In the second set Slovic fell behind 1-4 but
rallied to win the next five games and the match.
At third singles, Jean Noel Insausti, who won
Pac-10 player of the week for April 10-16 and became
the first Husky to ever receive the honor, easily beat
Mike Myrrhed 6-4, 6-0 in his final home match. Despite
already leading 5-0 and serving for the second set
bagel, one of his teammates still urged him on, saying
it was, "time to hit some lasers."
On the first point
Insausti promptly smacked a forehand winner into the
deuce court and cracked a smile at his teammate.
After an unforced error made it 15 all, he drilled a
backhand winner into the deuce court for 30-15. A
Myrrhed unforced error made it 40-15, and then
Insausti finished the match with a second serve ace.
At fourth and fifth singles, respectively, Andy
Kuharszky and Daniel Chu came up with straight set
wins. Kuharszky beat Gustavo Loza 6-1, 6-2 and Chu
prevailed over Eric Pickard 6-3, 6-2. Klaus Jank also
won at sixth singles, beating Vladimir Pino 6-3,6-1.
After getting swept by both USC and UCLA and
doubles the previous weekend, the Huskies came out on
Saturday and did the same to the Ducks.
"The last couple matches, we did not start well
in doubles. Today we started better. Early breaks got
us going," Anger said.
In the top match Chu and Slovic broke Bieri and
Pino in three of five service games en route to an
easy 8-2 win. At the third position, Insausti and Mike
Ricks beat Myrrhed and Pickard 8-2, and at second
doubles, Jank and Kuharszky capitalized on a pair of
double faults in the 11th game to get a crucial break
and beat Pino and Shiller 8-6.
After the Huskies' dual finale against the Bears,
they return to the courts the next day, Thursday,
April 27, to begin the individual Pac-10
Championships. The competition runs through Sunday,
April 30. Then on Wednesday, May 3 the Huskies find
out where they will play the first and second rounds
of the NCAA tournament.