Missionary Men's Tennis Sinks Pirates to Remain Perfect in NWC
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Despite exhibiting considerable improvement, the Whitworth University Pirates, ranked 20th in the West region, could do nothing to stem the rising tide that is the Whitman men's tennis team this afternoon, as the Whits sailed to an 8-1 victory.
Colton Malesovas, So.
Whitman took an early lead, which they would never relinquish, when junior Steven Roston (San Carlos, CA) and sophomore Colton Malesovas (Austin, TX) ousted Whitworth's John Talbot and Matt Goebel 8-1 at No. 3 doubles. Senior Matt Tesmond (Cincinnati, OH) and junior Andy Riggs (Auburn, CA) made it 2-0 Whitman with an 8-4 win over Chris Engelmann and Blake Miller at No. 2. Whitworth's lone point of the day came at No. 1 doubles where Whitworth's Cameron Williams and Drew Brigham upset Sam Sadeghi (Palo Alto, CA) and Andrew La Cava (Bellevue, WA) 8-5. The Whits took an early break in the match, but immediately gave it back, and never broke again. When Whitworth broke for a 6-3 lead, Whitman's top duo knew they were in trouble. They could never sink their teeth into a Whitworth service game, as the Pirate duo repeatedly pounced on Whitman's returns, finessing drop volleys when both Whits were back and sticking them for winners when one was up.
In singles competition, Whitman's superior depth quickly put the match out of reach: junior Will Huskey (Auburn, CA) made it 3-1 Whitman with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Micah Spaun at No. 6; Riggs moved his team to the brink of victory by beating John Talbot by the same score; and Roston clinched the victory when he toppled Blake Miller 6-0.
Andrew La Cava, Jr.
Things were more competitive at the top half of the singles ladder, but the Pirates couldn't come away with a victory. At No. 3 singles, Sadeghi overcame a spirited charge from Engelmann in the first set to win 6-4, 6-1. La Cava avenged himself against Brigham at No. 2 with a tightly contested 6-3, 6-1 triumph to make it 7-1 Whitman. The match of the day, however, undoubtedly came at No. 1 singles where Malesovas staged a second set comeback to beat Cameron Williams 6-3, 7-5. After cruising through the first set and taking an early lead in the second, the Whitman sophomore appeared poised for another routine victory, but Williams had other plans. Whitworth's senior captain tightened the screws and executed his game plan to perfection in the latter half of the second set to earn a 5-3 lead. One game later, Williams served for the second set and even held a pair of set points, but Malesovas – the #11 singles player in the nation – raised his game and clicked off three straight games to complete Whitman's 8-1 win.
Whitman's win streak now sits at six matches (Whitman is 6-1 on the season), but more formidable opponents loom large on the horizon. Next weekend, the Missionaries will travel to Forest Grove to play the Pacific Boxers before flying to Santa Cruz for a quad of West-Region all-stars. On Sunday the 10th, the No. 13 ranked Whits will face-off against both the No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer Sage Gens and No. 20 UT-Tyler Patriots before regrouping for a Monday morning tilt with the No. 11 UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Follow Whitman's quest for a 6th consecutive conference championship with Coach Northam on Twitter (@northam).
Whitman def. Whitworth 8-1
1. Williams/Brigham (Whitworth) def. Sadeghi/La Cava (WC) 8-5
2. Tesmond/Riggs (WC) def. Engelmann/Miller (Whitworth) 8-4
3. Malesovas/Roston (WC) def. Matt Goebel/Talbot (Whitworth) 8-1
1. Colton Malesovas (WC) def. Cameron Williams (Whitworth) 6-3, 7-5
2. Andrew La Cava (WC) def. Drew Brigham (Whitworth) 6-3, 6-1
3. Sam Sadeghi (WC) def. Chris Engelmann (Whitworth) 6-4, 6-1
4. Steven Roston (WC) def. Blake Miller (Whitworth) 6-0, 6-3
5. Andy Riggs (WC) def. John Talbot (Whitworth) 6-2, 6-0
6. Will Huskey (WC) def. Micah Spaun (Whitworth) 6-2, 6-0
Whitman 6-1, NWC 6-0; National Ranking No. 13; Regional ranking No. 6
Whitworth 2-7, NWC 2-2; Regional ranking No. 20