Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Whittier College men's tennis team a day after learning of the death of fellow classmate Alyssa Sialaris an All-American in both volleyball and track & field, gave No. 4 Cal Lutheran a scare Saturday morning at the Poulson Center falling 5-4.
Whittier who came in poised for the upset saw themselves down 2-1 after doubles but was unable to pull out four of six singles matches being edged by the Kingsmen 5-4 in a showdown between Nationally Ranked programs.
Nicholas Ballou and Ray Worley who came in as the No. 1 doubles team in the West Region took on Julian Seneviratne and David Konstantinov who were the No. 12 Ranked doubles team in the country and No. 6 in the West Region. The No. 1 duo for Whittier couldn't mount a late comeback falling 8-5. At No. 2, Andrew Hansen and Chris Schommer put together yet another strong doubles display winning 8-6 over Alex Nichols and Connor Treacy giving them their third defeat on the season.
It looked like Whittier would take the advantage 2-1 after doubles with the No. 3 team of Shogo Shimizu and Matt Herron leading 2-1 and then 6-3 but CLU's Thomas Millet and Marcelo Sousa rallied back to force a breaker and win 9-8 (6).
In singles the Poets fought but were only able to take No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 singles. Seneviratne ran into Ballou at No. 1 ranked No. 1 in the West Region but was unable to get any momentum falling 6-1, 6-2. At No. 2, freshman Konstantinov ran into Worley who was ranked No. 7 in the West Region and No. 25 in the country. Konstantinov who was coming off of an ankle injury was forced to retire trailing 6-1, 3-0 stopping his winning streak at nine matches.
Herron then sparked the Poets in singles staying undefeated at No. 4 defeating Treacy 6-4, 6-0 before Samuel Farmer got into the mix winning in straight sets over Millet 6-4, 6-2. Still trailing 4-3, Whittier evened the match at four after Schommer came away with his biggest win of the season taking out No. 18 Nichols 6-3, 6-3.
But at No. 6, Shimizu who dropped the first set 6-1, was unable to bounce back to even the match getting broken late in the second allowing Devon Belcher to grab the 6-1, 6-3 victory and the deciding point.
Whittier has the entire week to rest up/prepare before they host No. 1 Claremont-M-S on Saturday, April 13 at 10:00am.
1. Nicholas Ballou/Ray Worley (CLU) def. Julian Seneviratne/David Konstantinov (WC) 8-5
2. Chris Schommer/Andrew Hansen (WC) def. Alex Nichols/Connor Treacy (CLU) 8-6
3. Thomas Millet/Marcelo Sousa (CLU) def. Shogo Shimizu/Matthew Herron (WC) 9-8
1. Nicholas Ballou (CLU) def. Julian Seneviratne (WC) 6-1, 6-2
2. Ray Worley (CLU) def. David Konstantinov (WC) 6-1, 3-0
3. Chris Schommer (WC) def. Alex Nichols (CLU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Matthew Herron (WC) def. Connor Treacy (CLU) 6-4, 6-0
5. Samuel Farmer (WC) def. Thomas Millet (CLU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Devon Belcher (CLU) def. Shogo Shimizu (WC) 6-1, 6-3