Whittier threatens No. 34 George Fox 5-4

Whittier threatens No. 34 George Fox 5-4

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team played rejuvenated Friday morning on the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts as they threatened No. 34 George Fox University in a 5-4 decision.

The Purple & Gold put together their best match all season competing throughout.  Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Elmer Van Butselaar (Veenendaal, Netherlands) were able to grab the lone Poet win in doubles at No. 2 winning 8-6, while Maxwell Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Chris Palacio fell 8-4 at No. 1 and Jesse Eccles (Queenstown, New Zealand) and Hunter Kettering (Pleasanton, Calif.) going 8-5 at No. 3.

Trailing 2-1 after doubles, Whittier provided an exciting comeback in singles taking three of six positions.  Agustin Lombardi (Argentina) deadlocked the match at 2-2 with a quick 6-1, 6-2 match against Namba at No. 4.  GFU was able to counter taking No. 1 and No. 2 in straights but saw that lead evaporate as Van Butselaar would battle with a 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 3.  Matt Yanuck (Studio City, Calif.) had an opportunity to get the Poets a tie at No. 5 but couldn't get a break in either set as he went down 6-4, 6-4.

The match of the day came at No. 6 from Palacio who blew a 5-2 lead in the first set only to win in a breaker 7-6 (6).  The second set was quick as he went down 6-2 but he then provided heroics in the third set tiebreaker pulling off the 10-4 win.

Whittier showed their depth across the board.  They powered past the Bruins in exhibitions with Sam Whitehill (Australia) and Zachary Ambrosio (Moreno Valley, Calif.) taking the doubles No. 4 slot 8-5.  Tony Zhao (Toronto, Canada) and Lombardi partnered up at No. 5 and held on for an 8-5 mark and Yanuck and Derek Okuhama (Tumon, Guam) overcame an early deficit to win at No. 6 8-6.