One week after compiling a perfect 3-0 record at sixth singles in the pressure cooker of the ITA Team Indoors, Husky head coach Matt Anger moved Sekiguchi into the fifth slot in the lineup and he did not miss a beat, using his relentless baseline game to overwhelm Williams.
After making short work of
Williams in the first set, Sekiguchi continued to
breeze through the second, winning eight of nine
points against Williams's serve en route to a 3-0
lead. At that point it appeared as if Williams finally
showed up to play. In the fourth game, he had a chance
to go up 15-30 on Sekiguchi's serve when he hit what
looked like a forehand crosscourt winner to the deuce
court. Sekiguchi, however, chased down the ball and
forced Williams to hit another shot, a volley that
stayed up. The Husky ran down that ball as well and
flicked a backhand winner past Williams to go up
30-15. Two unforced errors then gave Sekiguchi a 4-0
Williams, however, would not get bageled without
a fight. His best chance to avoid the zero for the
match came in the next game, on his serve. Despite
facing double break point at 15-40, he came up with a
pair of winners to even the game at deuce.
Unfortunately he committed unforced errors on the next
two points to go down 5-0, and Sekiguchi held serve to
finish the shutout. More importantly the win put the
Huskies ahead 2-0 in the team match.
The remaining five singles matches also finished
in straight sets, with the Huskies victorious in four.
At the fourth position, Derek Drabble beat Christopher
Nott 6-2, 6-0 to make it 3-0 Huskies. Patrik Fischer
clinched the fourth point and the win for Washington
(6-4), with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Colin Mascall at
Andy Kuharszky made it 5-0 Huskies with a 6-4, 6-3 win
over Matt Hogan at 3. Husky freshman Jeevan
Nedunchezhiyan made his season debut at the top
singles spot a successful one with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win
over 95th ranked Blake Strode. Nedunchezhiyan would
not win the second set as easily as the first, even
when he broke serve to go up 3-2. Strode got the break
back and the two would eventually finish the match in
a tiebreak. After splitting the first four points,
Nedunchezhiyan won five straight points to end the
match. Strode gave him four match points with a double
fault and he converted the first one, drilling a
backhand return winner past the net-rushing Strode.
At 6, Dmitry Lebedev denied the Huskies a 7-0
sweep with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Tobi Obenaus. He broke
Obenaus to finish the first st and then went up a
break and 4-1 in the second. The feisty Obenaus got
the break back and eventually tied the set at 4 all,
but then Lebedev stepped up his game and won the final
two games to give the Razorbacks their only point.
The Huskies won the doubles point easily,
winning at 1 as Fischer and Nedunchezhiyan beat
Mascall and Strode 8-4. Obenaus and Martin Kildahl
followed with an 8-3 win over Hogan and Lebedev at 3.
The only suspense was whether the Huskies' Drabble
and Kuharszky would get the sweep at the second
position. They did, barely winning 8-7 (6) over Taylor King and Tyler Tarnasky. The Huskies went up a break
and 3-0 but then lost five straight games to go down
3-5. Kuharszky held serve to make it 4-5 and a
break on King's serve tied the set at 5 all. With the
score tied at 7 and the doubles point already clinched
the two sides went to a tiebreak.
The Huskies fell
behind 3-5 but, as they did in the set, came back. An
ace by Drabble, a double fault by Tarnasky, and a
forehand return winner by Drabble gave the Huskies
match point at 6-5, but Tarnasky kept the match alive
with a return winner on Kuharszky's serve. Tied at 6,
a Kuharszky forehand volley winner and an errant
volley by Tarnasky finally ended the match.
After playing their last six matches at home
the Huskies hit t he road for a pair of matches in
Eugene, Oregon against the host Ducks on Friday,
February 29 and 59th ranked Denver on Saturday, March
1. They next play at home on Friday, March 7, when
they host 22nd ranked Pepperdine at 3 p.m.
#27 UW 6, #62 Arkansas 1
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