Poets stun Division I Villanova 5-4

Poets stun Division I Villanova 5-4

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College men's tennis team got back to their winning ways Wednesday as they stunned Division I Villanova University 5-4 at the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts the program's first win over a Div. I opponent.

David Konstantinov and Chris Schommer controlled the No. 1 spot in doubles cruising to the lopsided 8-3 victory over Kelly Donaldson and Thomas O'Brien.  But at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, the Poets came out flat falling 8-3 and 8-5, respectively giving the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage heading into singles competition. 

Playing without junior Shogo Shimizu who was out due to an illness, Head Coach Ben Belletto was forced to move the bottom of the lineup around. 

Konstantinov continues to remain hot in singles as he improves to 4-0 after a straights set victory over Thomas O'Brien 6-1, 6-2 that leveled the match.  Schommer followed suit with a straight sets victory over Mark Miller 7-5, 6-2 before Villanova stopped the Poet run with a three set victory at No. 4 as Michael Rosengren came back to beat freshman Troy Chavez 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 that leveled the match at three.

Sophomore Samuel Farmer jumped out in front at No. 3 6-4 before being broken twice in the second by Donaldson forcing a third set.  Early in the frame, Farmer was broken once again and saw Donaldson have the opportunity to serve the match out at 5-4 but he fought back forcing a third set tiebreaker, which he won 7-1 putting the Purple & Gold in front 4-3.        

With two matches left, the crowd came alive getting behind their respective players.  Mark Anthony Kenney at No. 5 saw Tim Abbraciamento open with a first set victory 6-3 but fought back to force a third set winning 7-5 in set number two.  In the third, the match remained on serve until the end when Kenny was broken at 5-4 allowing Abbraciamento to escape with the victory and the fourth point for the Wildcats.

On court six, freshman Tyler Linscott had the pressure in his second collegiate singles matche with the match all tied up.  He earned a first set victory 7-6 (2) in a breaker but was broken midway through the second by Matt Colonnese, which he capitalized on winning 6-4 forcing a decisive third set.  In the final frame Linscott grabbed an early break and consolidated it with a huge hold to go up 5-2 and in the ensuing game, he broke one more time securing the stunner for Whittier. 

Whittier opens up SCIAC play this weekend as they welcome Occidental College to the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts, Saturday, March 8 beginning at 12:00pm. 

The match will be streamed live at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/whittier.portal#.