Fifth Straight Perfect NWC Regular Season
on Line as Men Host Tacoma Tennis Foes
News Release Date:
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
|Whitman's Jeff Tolman has both eyes on the ball in a recent match against Whitworth.
Photo by Greg Lehman
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The dynastic Whitman College men's tennis team can put the finishing touches on a fifth straight undefeated Northwest Conference regular season this weekend when it hosts teams from the Tacoma schools, Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.
Whitman, 10-0 in the NWC and 12-6 overall, faces Puget Sound at noon Saturday and Pacific Lutheran at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Weather permitting, look for both matches on the outdoor courts. Bratton Tennis Center is the standby in case of rain.
Last month in Tacoma, Whitman juggled its line-up but had little trouble beating Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on the same day. The Loggers fell 8-1 while the Lutes went down 7-2.
Puget Sound, 2-8 in the NWC and 3-11 overall, plays at Whitworth Friday before coming to Whitman on Saturday.
Pacific Lutheran, 4-6 in the NWC and 6-9 overall, visits Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday to cap its Spring Break trip to California. The Lutes then play Saturday at Whitworth before coming to Walla Walla on Sunday.
The milestones awaiting the Whitman men this weekend are many.
Photo by Jeff Northam
Two more wins mean a fifth consecutive undefeated NWC regular season, a fourth straight NWC championship, and the right to host the conference playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17.
Whitman, which starts the weekend in first place with a 10-0 NWC record, has won its last 76 regular season conference matches.
Willamette, a team Whitman blanked 9-0 earlier this season in Salem, is 9-1 in conference matches and still within mathematical reach of the top spot in the final standings. The Bearcats face a tough Linfield team on Friday before finishing the season against a 5-6 George Fox club.
Regardless of how Willamette fares in its last two matches, Whitman clinch the top seed in the post-season playoff format with a victory in Saturday's match against Puget Sound.
Four teams advance to the NWC playoffs. The two semifinals pit the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in one semi while No. 2 plays No. 3 in the other. The winners face each other the next day with an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship field at stake.
Whitman, No. 22 in the latest national rankings, is pursuing a fifth straight trip to nationals.
Whitman 85, NWC 5
Despite mixing and matching its deep roster on a number of occasions, Whitman has been almost perfect in rolling to its 10-0 NWC record.
Of the 90 singles and doubles matches they have played thus far against conference opponents, Whitman players have won 85 and dropped five.
Junior Conor Holton-Burke is 7-0 in NWC at No. 1 singles while freshman Andrew La Cava, playing mostly at No. 2, is also 7-0. Holton-Burke and La Cava, partners in doubles for most of the season, are both 8-0 in conference doubles matches.
Sophomore Sam Sadeghi, playing mostly in the lower half of the singles ladder, also has a 7-0 NWC record in singles.
Senior Etienne Moshevich is 5-0 while senior Quin Miller, junior Adriel Borshansky and sophomore Matt Tesmond are all 4-0.
Senior Chris Bailey and sophomore Jeff Tolman are both 5-1 in NWC singles.
Moshevich and Tolman are 8-0 in NWC doubles, playing mostly in the No. 2 slot.
While getting his entire roster into NWC matches has been easier said than done for Whitman coach Jeff Northam, all 12 of his players have responded this spring with at least one victory in both singles and doubles.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org