Defending Champ, Humidity Drop La Cava

News Release Date:
Thursday, October 13


WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College sophomore Andrew La Cava came up a bit short in Thursday's opening round of singles at the USTA / ITA National Small College Championships, falling victim to the nation's top-ranked NCAA Division III player and a suffocating dose of Alabama's high humidity.

In a match played at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., La Cava dropped a 6-2, 6-2 verdict to Emory University senior Dillon Pottish, the tournament's defending singles champ.

"The scores don't really indicate how competitive the match was," Whitman coach Jeff Northam said. "There were a lot of long games that went to deuce."

Thunderstorms delayed the match start time to about 11 a.m. Central time. By then, temperatures were in the mid-80s with humidity at oppressive levels for those not acclimated to the conditions.

Andrew La Cava

"Andrew was fighting exhaustion before the first set was over," Northam says. "He was hurting - struggling with nausea and dizziness."

La Cava caught a second wind early in the second set and traded service breaks with his opponent en route to a 2-1 lead. But Pottish, who lost in the singles final of last spring's NCAA national championships, quickly regained command and finished off the victory.

"The guy from Emory is as good as they get at this level," Northam said. "Everyone at this tournament is very talented. It comes down to who plays well each day."

"We've got Andrew back at the hotel now, getting him cooled back down. We'll get him ready to play again tomorrow. Hopefully he'll feel better for his next match."

La Cava is slated to play at 8:30 a.m. Friday against Amrik Donkena, a junior from Gustavus Adolphus College. Donkena lost 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round to Andy Hersh, a junior at Johns Hopkins University.

Depending on the outcome of his Friday match, La Cava will play again on Saturday for either fifth or seventh place.

La Cava, the two-time Pacific Northwest singles champ, turned some heads on Wednesday when he earned his spot in the eight-man singles bracket with an impressive 6-3, 6-1 victory over Max Frey, a Trinity (Texas) senior who holds a No. 4 national ranking.

Had he beaten La Cava in Wednesday's play-in match, Frey was going to be seeded second in the tournament's singles draw.

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