La Cava Jumps Men's Tennis Net for NWC's Weekly Award

News Release Date:
Thursday, February 23, 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College sophomore Andrew La Cava is this spring's first Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week for men's tennis.

La Cava, who holds a No. 7 singles ranking at the national level (NCAA DIII), helped the Whitman men give new meaning to the term "road warriors" last weekend as they traveled to Fredericksburg, Va., and swept three decisions in two days from nationally prominent tennis programs.

Andrew La Cava

Whitman, ranked No. 29 nationally in the preseason, capped its big weekend with a 6-3 Sunday triumph over No. 22 University of Mary Washington.

La Cava helped Whitman grab the early lead in that match by teaming with junior Jeff Tolman for an 8-5 victory in No. 2 doubles.

As matches in singles started to finish, Whitman was in front 4-3 when La Cava, scored the clinching fifth team point with a 6-4, 7-5 victory in the No. 1 slot. His opponent, Sam Wichlin, held a 5-4 lead in the second set and had a set point, but La Cava bounced back to win three games and polish off his victory.

"Andrew and his opponent had a fantastic match," Whitman coach Jeff Northam said. "Both played amazing tennis."

Wichlin, a junior at Mary Washington, was "absolutely pounding the ball, especially his forehand, forcing Andrew to scramble all over the court and wait for his opportunity to go on the offensive," Northam said.

"Andrew is an amazing athlete and incredibly quick around the court, but I think he surprised even himself in this match with his movement and anticipation."

Whitman played twice on Saturday, edging Kalamazoo 5-4 after beating No. 23 Rhodes by a 6-3 count.

La Cava also had two wins against Kalamazoo, which isn't ranked at the moment but recently lost a 5-4 decision to No. 11 Chicago. After teaming with Tolman for an 8-5 victory at No. 2 doubles, La Cava posted a 7-5, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles.

Whitman slipped into an early hole against Rhodes by two losing two of three matches in doubles. Tolman and La Cava at No. 2 were the lone winners.

Whitman turned the tables in singles, winning five of six matches in singles. The only loss came at No. 1, where La Cava dropped a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 decision to Morgan Slevin.

La Cava and his teammates return to Northwest Conference action this weekend, hosting Pacific Lutheran at 4 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902;