Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team went 1-1 over the weekend falling 6-3 to Rhodes College before taking out Hardin-Simmons 6-3.
With the split the Purple & Gold improve to 2-5, 0-1 SCIAC.
Match 1 (Rhodes – L, 6-3)
Whittier fell behind early after doubles 2-1. Their lone win coming at No. 3 from Jesse Eccles (Queenstown, New Zealand) and Chris Palacio (El Centro, Calif.) who rolled to the 8-2 win. It didn't get better in singles for the Poets as they dropped four of six matches.
Matt Yanuck (Studio City, Calif.) was steady at No. 4 sweeping PJ Shou 6-3, 6-0. The other point came from Eccles at No. 6 who too was solid in a straight sets win 6-1, 6-4 over Sairam Gudbena.
At No. 5 Derek Okuhama (Tumon, Guam) had an opportunity to get another point for the Poets winning the opening set 6-1. But his opponent Alex Lloyd didn't back down winning the second 6-1 before taking the third set super tiebreaker 10-2.
Match 2 (Hardin-Simmons ; W, 6-3)
The Poets returned the very next day to host Hardin-Simmons but they were without their full lineup. Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) was held out due to illness forcing the lineups to shift. After doubles the Poets saw themselves once again trailing 2-1. Pim Van Der Veer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Thomas Davies (Wales) were forced to move up to No. 1 and they weren't ready falling 8-4. At No. 2, the solidified team of Eccles and Palacios continued to roll edging Holt/Weinkom 8-7 (2) despite moving up a position.
At No. 3, Head Coach Kirstin Yep elected to bring in Sam Whitehill (Brisbane, Australia) and Zachary Ambrosio (Moreno Valley, Calif.). They raced out to a quick lead and looked like they would get the lopsided win but somehow Lopez and Beavers would calm the storm rallying back to take the set 8-7 (7) in a breaker.
Despite falling behind the Poets were ready in singles winning five of six matches. Van Der Veer picked up his first win at the top spot pulling out a three setter 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 over Alex Hunt. Yanuck who was forced to move up a spot to No. 3 wasn't phased and continued his strong singles play winning 6-2, 6-1.
Okuhama rebounded nicely at No. 4 taking out Holt Fields 6-2, 6-3, giving Whittier their fourth point. Then the clinch came at No. 5 from Eccles who survived a tough Josh Lopez. He pulled out a 7-6 (2) breaker before grabbing a late break 7-5 in the second. The final point for the Purple & Gold came at No. 6 from Palacios who played his first singles match of the season. He too played an opening breaker in the first set winning 7-6 (6) before pulling off the 6-4 second set.
Whittier returns to the court this Saturday, March 16 when they host Babson beginning at 2:00pm.