Men's Tennis Semi: Whitman vs. Whitworth
News Release Date:
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
NWC Men's Tennis
Semifinal: No. 1 Whitman vs. No. 4 Whitworth
10 a.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012 - Whitman Outdoor Courts
Saturday's first semifinal pits top-seeded Whitman, 19-4 on the season and ranked No. 8 nationally, against a fourth-seeded Whitworth squad that is 11-8 this spring.
The two teams met once during the regular season, playing March 31 in Whitman's Bratton Tennis Center. Whitman swept the three matches in doubles, losing just six games, and then swept the six encounters in singles in straight sets.
| Daniel Redfern
After losing to Whitman, however, Whitworth closed out its season by winning three of its last four NWC matches to grab the fourth and final playoff spot. Its lone conference loss the past few weeks was a 5-4 setback to George Fox.
Senior Daniel Redfern, who made the All-NWC First Team a year ago, is 13-6 (8-4 NWC) this season at No. 1 singles. Junior Cameron Williams has a 7-4 NWC record at No. 2 singles.
As a doubles team, Redfern and Williams are 5-3 in conference in the No. 1 spot.
Other Pirates with winning conference records elsewhere in the singles line-up include junior Micah Spaun (5-4), sophomore John Talbot (7-3), and seniors Ben Hamming (8-3) and Stefan Dernbach (5-2).
Dernbach, who played at Whitman as a freshman, is 5-1 at No. 2 doubles with Spaun as a partner. Talbot and freshman Matt Goebel are 4-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Meanwhile, Whitman is plowing through its best season in more than two decades, rising to the very top of the West Region rankings while winning 19 straight matches at one point this spring.
In addition to winning all 12 of its NWC matches, Whitman also knocked off traditional NCAA DIII powers UC-Santa Cruz, Trinity (CT), Mary Washington, Rhodes, Kalamazoo and Whittier.
| Adriel Borshansky
Whitman's losses this spring, which have been few and far between, include two early setbacks to a pair of NCAA Division I schools, Montana and Eastern Washington.
The only other losses came at the hands of NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State. One loss to the Warriors came by a slim 5-4 margin.
Whitman returns all but one player from the team that won last year's tournament by beating Pacific 5-0 in the semifinals and Willamette 5-0 in the finals.
Whitman senior Conor Holton-Burke, the reigning NWC Player of the Year, teams with sophomore ace Andrew La Cava and talented junior Jeff Tolman for a formidable one-two-three punch at the top of the singles line-up.
La Cava joined Holton-Burke on the All-NWC First Team last spring while Tolman was on the Second Team, one year after he had netted first-team honors.
While Whitman's top three have bounced around a bit, La Cava has played in the top spot for a good part of the season with Tolman at No. 2 and Holton-Burke at No. 3. Between them, the trio has lost just once in NWC play while compiling a 34-13 mark overall against a schedule that has included plenty of top-flight non-conference opposition.
| Jeff Tolman
| Andrew La Cava
After losing his first singles match of the season to an NAIA opponent, Whitman senior Adriel Borshansky has reeled off 19 straight victories. Most of those wins have come in the lower half of the singles line-up, but he also sports a combined 4-1 record at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.
Other fixtures in the singles line-up are junior Sam Sadeghi (11-4, 6-0 NWC) and freshman James Rivers (15-4, 8-1 NWC). The Whitman roster includes six other players who have combined records of 25-1 against conference opponents.
Holton-Burke and junior Matt Tesmond have played most of the season at No. 1 doubles, going 8-1 in the NWC and 13-7 overall.
Tolman and La Cava have played most of their matches at No. 2 doubles, notching records of 13-3 overall and 6-1 in conference. Sadeghi and Rivers are 9-4 (4-1 NWC) at No. 3 doubles.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org