Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team ended a four game losing skid Sunday morning as they rolled to the 6-3 victory over Vassar College at the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts.
The Poets have had a tough stretch of matches against some of the top programs in the country over the past few weeks, which included No. 34 Cal Lutheran (5-4), No. 15 Mary Washington (8-1), No. 7 Carnegie Mellon (9-0), and No. 6 Case Western Reserve (9-0).
Match 1 (Cal Lutheran; L, 5-4)
Whittier got their 2016 campaign off in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Match-Up with Cal Lutheran University. The Purple & Gold got off to a good start sweeping doubles in impressive fashion.
Junior transfer Andrew You (Arcadia, Calif.) and senior Samuel Farmer (Carlsbad, Calif.) teamed up at No. 1 cruising to the 8-2 victory over Gio Valdez and Lunding-Johansson. Tyler Linscott (Tuscon, AZ) and Troy Chavez (Temecula, Calif.) continued where they left off from 2015 at No. 2 edging Chris Hartman and Lucas Tilly 9-7 before junior transfer Sean Jardinico (Pleasant Valley, NY) and freshman Emilio Yera (Beverly Hills, Calif.) would take down Mike Sulahian and Dara Kashani 8-5 putting WC in front 3-0.
But in singles the momentum switched into the Kingsmen favor as they would take five of six matches to claim the come from behind victory. Valdez would dismiss You at No. 1 6-4, 6-3. Farmer who took the first set in a breaker at No. 2 against Kashani would drop the next two 7-6, 6-1. The same happened to Linscott but was on the opposite end. He fell quickly 6-0 in the first set before fighting back to level the match with a 6-4 win in the second but would drop one break in the third falling to Sulahian.
The lone singles point for the Poets came at No. 5 from David Stanko (Morena Valley, Calif.) who kept the Poets alive with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Hartman.
Match 2 (Mary Washington; L, 8-1)
Against the No. 16 ranked Eagles of Mary Washington, Whittier kept the match close after doubles winning at No. 1 from You and Farmer. In singles, Mary Washington swept all six singles but were pushed at the No. 1 and No. 4 spots.
You made it a match at the top against Stratton Gilmore dropping the first set with one break 6-4 but would come back strong in the second with two breaks to win 6-2. Instead of playing a third set breaker he elected to play a full third set and ultimately fell 6-3.
At No. 4, Linscott pushed Eric Hurwitz. The first two sets each included one break. Hurwitz won the first 7-5 before Linscott would force a third with a 6-4 set in the second. But in the last frame it would go to Hurwitz winning 6-3.
Match 3 (Carnegie Mellon; L, 9-0)
The Poets faced tough conditions against Carnegie Mellon with the wind and rain. You and Farmer put up a tough test at No. 1 doubles falling 8-5 to Vaynum Arora and Daniel Levine. Chavez and Stanko would go down 8-4 at No. 2 against Jeffrey Chen and Kenny Zheng and Linscott and Year would drop an 8-2 decision at No. 3 against Abhishek Alla and Yuvraj Kumar.
Singles was the same as Whittier would down in all six, all in straight sets. The battle was at No. 1 with You falling 6-4, 6-2 against Alla and at No. 6 from Chavez who pushed Chaz Downing only to fall 6-4, 6-2.
Match 4 (Case Western; L, 9-0)
Whittier dropped their second straight 9-0 decision but this time against a tough Case Western squad. Chavez and Linscott put up the only fight in doubles at No. 2 getting five games against John Benedetto and Freddy Daum.
In singles, Stanko was at No. 3 and put on a strong showing against Robert Stroup forcing him into a third after falling 7-5 in the first set. He would earn the second set win 7-5 but would get rolled 10-1 in the third set breaker.
Chavez had a fight at No. 5 as well but couldn't overcome a break in each set falling 6-4, 7-5 to Kevin Dong.
Match 5 (Vassar; W, 6-3)
For the second time this season the Poets have swept doubles but this time around were able to capitalize on the big lead to hold off Vassar 6-3.
Linscott and Chavez put the Poets on the scoreboard first after failing to serve out the match at 7-6 were able to grab an ensuing break to win 9-7 over Laso and Luckman. You and Farmer teamed up again at No. 1 doubles and held an early break to win 8-6 over Cooper and Zuzek to put WC in front 2-0 and Stanko and Jardinico rounded out the sweep winning 9-7 at No. 3 over Litsky and Lee.
But the Poets weren't done there as they would continue to roll in singles. Stanko made quick work of Jamie Anderson at No. 4 winning 6-0, 6-0. Chavez dismissed Sha Huang 6-0, 6-1 at No. 6, which clinched the victory and Farmer would round out the scoring with a three setter at No. 2 against Daniel Luper 6-3, 6-7 (5), 12-10.
Linscott almost grabbed the seventh point for Whittier at No. 5 but couldn't make a complete comeback happen falling in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 10-7 with the same fate happening to Jardinico at No. 3. After dropping in a tie-breaker 7-6 (3), he would go on to roll 6-1 in the second before dropping a tight 10-7 third set super tiebreaker to Juan Felipe Laso.