No. 39 Fresno State Upsets 10th-Ranked Washington 4-3
    Senior Stefan Suta scored a big win for the Bulldogs when he upset his nationally-ranked opponent at No. 3 singles in Fresno State's win over No. 10 Washington on Friday.
    Senior Stefan Suta scored a big win for the Bulldogs when he upset his nationally-ranked opponent at No. 3 singles in Fresno State's win over No. 10 Washington on Friday.

    Feb. 20, 2004

    FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State won the doubles point and used clutch singles play down the stretch to upset 10th-ranked Washington 4-3 on Friday at the Wathen Tennis Center.

    The victory extended the 39th-ranked Bulldogs' exceptional home record since the dedication of the tennis center. Fresno State (5-4) is now 61-8 at home since the facility was renamed after Spalding G. Wathen in 1998.

    It is also Fresno State's first victory over a top-25 ranked team since Brad Dancer became a head coach prior to the 2001-02 season. The Bulldogs last defeated a top 25 team April 28, 2001, when they upset eighth-ranked SMU in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament.

    The Bulldogs won their third in a row by starting the match strong, winning two of three doubles to claim the point. At No. 2, the team of Greg Shearer and Charles Irie defeated Pete Scharler and Christoph Palmanshofer 9-7 to clinch the point that put Fresno State ahead 1-0.

    In singles, Washington (7-2) got on the board right away with a straight-set win at No. 2. But the Bulldogs made it 2-1 when Stefan Suta, playing perhaps his best tennis of the season, upset the 61st-ranked Palmanshofer 7-5, 6-2. The victory evened Suta's record at 10-10 (5-4 dual).

    The Huskies, who were playing just their first match of the year outdoors, got back into it with a hard-fought win at No. 5 when Scharler topped Jure Kekez 6-4, 7-6 (6).

    With the dual tied 2-2, three matches remained on court. At No. 4, Charles Irie was on serve late in the third set with Daniel Chu; at No. 6, Jakub Cech, who at one point was cruising 6-3, 4-0, was involved in a second-set tiebreaker; and at No. 1, Shearer was down a set but on serve late in the second with second-ranked Alex Vlaski.

     

     

    It was Cech who stepped up first, claiming the second-set tiebreaker 7-3 for a 6-3, 7-6 victory that made the score 3-2. Nearly moments later, Irie broke serve for a 5-4 lead in the third set, putting the match on his racquet.

    And the newcomer from the Ivory Coast didn't disappoint. The freshman, who has won all three of his singles matches since becoming a Bulldog, won his serve easily to clinch the upset victory for Fresno State.

    "It was a tremendous effort by the team today," said head coach Brad Dancer. "Charles Irie was just magnificent when it counted. We had guys step up from the top of the line up to the bottom. We've got a tough team in San Diego coming in here on Sunday, and we will have to play just as well to get a victory against them."

    With the match already decided, Vlaski topped Shearer in straight sets.

    The Bulldogs will try for another upset on Sunday when they take on No. 28 San Diego at 11 a.m. at the Wathen Tennis Center.

    No. 39 Fresno State def. No. 10 Washington, 4-3
    Doubles (Fresno State wins point)
    1) #11 Vlaski/Slovic (UW) def. Suta/Modoc (FS), 8-4
    2) Shearer/Irie (FS) def. Scharler/Palmanshofer (UW), 9-7*
    3) Krohn/Cech (FS) def. Weiss/Chu (UW), 8-4
    Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

    Singles
    1) #2 Alex Vlaski (UW) def. Greg Shearer (FS), 6-4, 7-5
    2) #53 Alex Slovic (UW) def. Alex Krohn (FS), 6-3, 6-1
    3) Stefan Suta (FS) def. #61 Christoph Palmanshofer (UW), 7-5, 6-2
    4) Charles Irie (FS) def. Daniel Chu (UW), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4*
    5) Pete Scharler (UW) def. Jure Kekez (FS), 6-4, 7-6 (6)
    6) Jakub Cech (FS) def. Scott Felsenthal (UW), 6-3, 7-6 (3)
    Order of finish: 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 1
    * Indicates clinching match

    Records: Fresno State (4-5); Washington (8-1)
    Time of Match: 4:13
    Conditions: 50 degrees, cloudy

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