No. 13 Men's Tennis Rolls Past No. 16 Pomona Pitzer
SANTA CRUZ, Cali. – The No. 13 Whitman men's tennis team started their Spring Break off the right way this morning with an 8-1 victory over 16th ranked Pomona-Pitzer Sage Hens. What initially looked like a marquee match quickly turned into a rout, as the Whits showed little to no ill-effects from their lack of outdoor tennis experience.
Colton Malesovas, So.
The doubles portion of the proceeding was hotly contested up and down the lineup. Pomona-Pitzer got on the board first when their team of Frankie Allinson and Max Sabel recovered from an early break to oust Whitman's Andy Riggs (Auburn, CA) and Matt Tesmond (Cincinnati, OH) 8-6 at the top slot. Senior Sam Sadeghi (Glendale, CA) and junior Steven Roston (San Carlos, CA) leveled things shortly thereafter with an 8-5 win over Thomas Low and Connor Hudson at No. 3. The momentum swung in Whitman's favor at No. 2 where Andrew La Cava (Bellevue, WA) and Colton Malesovas (Austin, TX) triumphed over Kevin Wei and Chris Weichert 8-6 in a doubles match that featured eight breaks of service to give Whitman a 2-1 edge.
In singles, the Sage Hens were visibly gassed from a double header the previous day, and the Whitties took advantage quickly, as La Cava extended Whitman's lead to 3-1 by beating Hudson 6-4 6-1 at No. 2. One spot lower, Sadeghi handed Pomona's Thomas Low just his second loss of the year and moved Whitman to within a match of victory in a 6-4, 6-3 win. Roston clinched the match for Whitman by beating Allinson 7-6 (3), 6-2. In that one, the lefty took an early lead and served for the first set, but Allinson, a four-year starter, broke him back to force a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was all Roston, as he took an early lead and never looked back. With the momentum behind him and an exhausted Allinson running on fumes, Roston cruised through the second set to clinch the victory.
Steve Roston, Jr.
With the team victory in hand, Whitman's remaining singles players never took their foot off the gas pedal. First year Noah Lee (Forestville, CA) was next off with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Pomona-Pitzer's Kevin Prescott. Riggs made it 7-1 Whitman by staving off a spirited second-set charge from Wei to win 6-1, 7-6 (4).
Once again, the match of the morning came at the top spot where Malesovas is developing a flair for the dramatic. Whitman's 11th-ranked sophomore broke Pomona-Pitzer's Sabel in the first game of the match and appeared to have a good handle on the senior's game in the early going. Sabel flipped the script quickly, however, and worked his way to a 6-4 first set victory. He parlayed that momentum into a 5-2 second set lead. That's when Malesovas began his dramatic comeback. Whitman's Texan saved seven match points in breaking back twice to take the second set 7-5, sending the match to a deciding 10-point tiebreaker. The players worked their way to a 4-4 deadlock early in the breaker, but Malesvoas reeled off four straight points and finally ended the match with a monstrous forehand.
The Missionaries didn't have much time to rest after sweeping the Sage Hens in singles, however, as they were slated to play another match against No. 20 UT-Tyler later in the day. After that one, the Whits will play the No. 11 UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs on Monday afternoon (2:30 PM start time).
No. 13 Whitman def. No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer 8-1
1. Allinson/Sabel (P-P) def. Riggs/Matt Tesmond (WC) 8-6
2. La Cava/Malesovas (WC) def. Chris Weichert/Wei (P-P) 8-6
3. Sadeghi/Roston (WC) def. Low/Hudson (P-P) 8-5
1. Colton Malesvoas (WC) def. Max Sabel (P-P) 4-6, 7-5, 10-7
2. Andrew La Cava (WC) def. Connor Hudson (P-P) 6-4, 6-1
3. Sam Sadeghi (WC) def. Thomas Low (P-P) 6-4, 6-3
4. Steven Roston (WC) def. Frankie Allinson (P-P) 7-6 (3), 6-2
5. Andy Riggs (WC) def. Kevin Wei (P-P) 6-1, 7-6 (4)
6. Noah Lee (WC) def. Kevin Prescott (P-P) 6-1, 6-3