Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
FULLERTON, Calif. – The Whittier College men's tennis team gathered their first victory of 2013 by cruising past the Royals of Hope International 8-1 Friday afternoon.
The Poets who came into the season nationally ranked at No. 25 continued where they left off a year ago wasting little time by sweeping doubles at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3. Senior Julian Seneviratne and freshman David Konstantinov who made it to the finals of doubles during the Fall ITA Regionals found themselves down 5-4 and then tied up 6-6 but wound up pulling out the final two games to win 8-6.
The duo of Andrew Hansen and Chris Schommer who were pivotal at the No. 2 slot last year jump started their season off together winning 8-2 before freshman tandem Samuel Farmer and Bo Brynteson got their first collegiate match under their belt winning 8-1 at No. 3.
In singles, Whittier continued to roll through the Royals despite seeing Schommer and Farmer sit due to a sore knee and an illness. The Purple & Gold got things started at No. 2, No. 4, and No. 6 singles where Konstantinov, Hansen, and Brynteson cruised to victories giving up a combined five games.
Sophomore Matthew Herron who saw his first action of the season in the No. 3 slot saw a tight first set occur but was able to power past Leo Pires in the second set winning 6-4, 6-1.
Seneviratne who came into singles play ranked No. 24 in the West Region got his feet wet against JD Owens by surrendering five games but wasn't threatened as he rolled to the 6-2, 6-3 victory.
The match of the day came down to the No. 5 slot where sophomore Shogo Shimizu dropped a tight three set match falling 10-8 in the third set super tiebreaker. In a 2.5 hour match both Shimizu and Tyler McDonald traded blows. McDonald won the opening set 7-6, 7-5 in the tiebreaker before Shimizu responded jumping out in the second set 4-1 before taking it 6-3. With light becoming a factor in the waning minutes of the match and the match already being decided, the third set was played in a super tiebreaker fashion. Shimizu opened up the tiebreaker going up 4-2 getting a minibreak and then held an 8-7 advantage but McDonald fought back winning the final three points to take home the Royals lone point of the match.
Whittier returns to the courts when they travel down to San Diego, Calif. next Saturday, February 23 when they take on both NAIA powerhouse Point Loma Nazarene and Div. II UC San Diego. Both matches are set to begin at 10:00am and 2:30pm, each respectively.
1. J. Seneviratne/D. Konstantinov def. JD Owens/L. Pires 8-6
2. A. Hansen/C. Schommer def. E. Correa/T. Brito 8-2
3. S. Farmer/B. Brynteson def. T. McDonald/M. Grosso 8-1
1. J. Seneviratne def. JD Owens 6-2, 6-3
2. D. Konstantinov def. Enzo Correa 6-1, 6-1
3. Matt Herron def. Leo Pires 6-4, 6-1
4. Andy Hansen def. Thiago Brito 6-1, 6-0
5. Tyler McDonald def. Shogo Shimizu 7-6 (5), 3-6, (10-8)