Bears Take Down Whits in Men's Tennis
HONOLULU, Haw. – For the second match in a row, the 13th-ranked Whitman men's tennis has fallen to a perennial DIII tennis power by an 8-1 score. This time, the culprits were the 16th-ranked Bears from Washington University in St. Louis.
Andrew La Cava, Jr.
Playing at the Central Oahu Recreational Park in Honolulu, HI early this morning, the Missionaries got off to a slow start on two doubles courts. At No. 1, Wash U's Adam and Ross Putterman (no relation) broke on their first opportunity and rolled to an 8-1 win over Matt Tesmond (Cincinnati, OH) and Andy Riggs (Auburn, CA) to give their team a 1-0 lead. The Bears extended their lead to 2-0 when Gary Parizher and Jeffery Hirsh blanked Steven Roston (San Carlos, CA) and Sam Sadeghi (Glendale, CA) 8-0. Whitman got on the board at No. 2 doubles where Andrew La Cava (Bellevue, WA) and Colton Malesovas (Austin, TX) broke free from a 2-2 deadlock after four long games to win 8-3.
Trailing just 1-2 heading into singles, Whitman looked sluggish early in their six singles matches. The Whits lost the first sets on all six courts after Malesovas, La Cava, and Sadeghi surrendered early break leads at the top three positions. At No. 6, first year Noah Lee (Forestville, CA) ended up on the wrong end of a quick 6-2, 6-1 loss to Wash U senior Kareem Farah. Roston lost just moments later when Tyler Kratky, a top 60 recruit, upped his game in the second set to win 6-4 6-0 and give Wash U a 4-1 lead.
Colton Malesovas, So.
At that point, Whitman staged a mini-rally. Riggs rolled through his second set at No. 5 for Whitman's first set of the day. Moments later, Malesovas consolidated a late break of serve into a 6-4 second set victory, while La Cava was putting the finishing touches on a 6-4 second set himself after trailing 1-4. Whitman gained even more momentum when Sadeghi broke while Wash U's Tim Noack was serving for the match at No. 3 to get back on serve, but Noack broke back to close out a 7-5 6-4 victory and clinch the match for the Bears.
That took the wind out of Whitman's sails. With the raucous yells of the Whitman supporters on hand permanently silenced, La Cava and Malesovas failed to muster the same energy that allowed them to come back in the second set. Ultimately, Malesovas fell to Adam Putterman – the No. 3 ranked player in the country – 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 while La Cava dropped a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 heartbreaker to Ross Putterman. The No. 5 singles match was much more dramatic, but, ultimately, yielded the same result. Whitman's Andy Riggs and Wash U's Gary Parizher traded the lead early in the 3rd before Parizher broke at 4-3 to put the match on his racquet. Riggs saved two match points and broke back, however, and eventually took the match to a deciding tiebreaker. Appropriately, the tiebreaker was a back-and-forth affair, but Parizher capitalized on an unlucky net chord for Riggs at 5-5 and served out the next point to complete his 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory.
The Whitman men's tennis team has now lost three matches in a row against the top competition in the country. Things won't get any easier from here on out. The Missionaries are set to play BYU-Hawaii (a ranked Division II team) tomorrow morning before two more DIII matches against Whittier (No. 27) and CMS (No. 4) on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Whitman will conclude their Spring Break trip against Hawaii Pacific (ranked No. 5 in Division II) Thursday. Follow Coach Jeff Northam on Twitter (@northam) for match day scores.
Robert Holton-Burke contributed this story.
Match Results, Washington University 8 Whitman 1
WU Adam Putterman/Ross Putterman def. WC Matt Tesmond/Andy Riggs 8-1
Andrew La Cava/Colton Malesovas def. 8-3
WU Gary Parizher?Jeffery Hirsh def. WC Sam Sadeghi/Steven Roston 8-0
WU A Putterman def. WC Malesovas 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
WU R. Putterman def. WC La Cava 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
WU Tim Noack def. WC Sadeghi 7-5 6-4
WU Tyler Kratky def. WC Steven Roston 6-4 6-0
WU Gary Parizher def. WC Riggs 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5)
WU Kareem Farah def. WC Noah Lee 6-2, 6-1
Whitman Sports Information Director