Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. - The Whittier College men's tennis team proved today why they should be nationally ranked as they took the Div. I Wildcats of Villanova to the brink losing 5-4 but knocking off No. 30 Texas-Tyler 6-3 in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
The Poets now improve to 4-2, and continue to impress as they continue to play good tennis 1-6 and have now for the second straight season knocked off a nationally ranked opponent. In 2011 the Poets knocked off Mary Washington who was ranked in the top 20.
Whittier combined for seven hours of tennis on the Richard Ettinger Courts but pulled off their biggest win of the season thus far as they upset UT Tyler 6-3 in front of a raucous crowd that provided energy and support throughout the entire match.
"We learned a lot about ourselves today," said Bojalad, "We knew we were talented, but today we also showed that we fight and are fit."
The Purple & Gold return to action as they host Vassar on Monday, March 12 a team who defeated the Poets in 2011. This match is set for 4pm.
Match 1 (Villanova; L, 5-4)
Whittier got underway with their first match against Div. I Villanova who was coming off of an 8-1 loss to UC San Diego the same team the Poets lost to 7-2. The Poets knew it would be a battle and surprised the Wildcats early as the No. 2 doubles team of Andrew Hansen and Chris Schommer pulled off the 8-3 win, while the freshman duo of Matthew Herron and Shogo Shimizu continued their impressive doubles with an 8-6 win at No. 3 after giving up a break late in the match.
This gave the Poets a 2-1 lead going into singles competition. As singles got underway, many were wondering if the Whittier players would rest for their afternoon matchup against Texas Tyler but that wasn't the case as each Poet player fought and scrapped their way to a 5-4 loss to Villanova.
Despite losing at No. 1 doubles, the team of Julian Seneviratne and Patricio Carregha came up big in singles pulling out three set tiebreakers at No. 1 and No. 2 that brought the score to a tie at 4-4. Then it all came down to freshman Herron at No. 4 who fell in straight sets losing 7-6 (10), 6-3 a match that could have gone either way.
1. O'Brien/Donaldson (VU) def. Seneviratne/Carregha (WC) 8-2
2. Hansen/Schommer (WC) def. Colonese/Abbiacciamento (VU) 8-3
3. Herron/Shimizu (WC) def. Miller/Peyton (VU) 8-6
1. Julian Seneviratne (WC) def. Thomas O'Brien (VU) 2-6, 7-5, (12-10)
2. Patricio Carregha (WC) def. Matt Colonnese (VU) 6-2, 2-6 (10-6)
3. Ryan Peyton (VU) def. Chris Schommer (WC) 6-2, 6-4
4. Mike Rosengear (VU) def. Matt Herron (WC) 7-6 (10), 6-3
5. Tim Abbiacciamento (VU) def. Andy Hansen (WC) 6-3, 6-1
6. Mark Miller (VU) def. Shogo Shimizu (WC) 6-4, 6-3
Match 2 (UT Texas Tyler; W, 6-3)
In the second match of the day the big question arose, would the Poets be rested enough to compete a strong Texas Tyler squad? And the answer was an emphatic yes as Whittier jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after doubles yet again helping relieve pressure in singles competition.
At No. 2 and No. 3 doubles Hansen/Schommer and Herron/Shimizu again came up big sweeping doubles 8-1 and 8-3, each respectively helping the Poets take a mini lead into singles.
Whittier continued to play aggressively going into singles and jumped out in front taking the first set in each match 1-5.
Seneviratne continues his dominance in singles as he remains unbeaten on the season improving to 6-0 after he cruised to the 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 1.
With Shimizu hampered by a wrist injury he was forced to sit out singles competition making room for senior Jonathan Pollare who played a tight match at No. 6 falling 6-4, 6-4.
Herron who was the match decider against Villanova again became the match decider against UT Tyler but came away with a big win the second time around winning impressively 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 clinching the upset victory for the Poets.
This was made possible by Hansen who pulled off a huge 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 5 that energized Herron to the next court over.
Schommer who jumped out to take the first set quickly still is unable to find the next gear where he pulls off matches late as he provided everyone in attendance with a brilliant comeback that fell short in the third set tiebreaker.
1. Spencer/Singer (UT) def. Senevirtne/Carregha (WC) 8-4
2. Schommer/Hansen (WC) def. Wright/Hodous (UT) 8-1
3. Herron/Shimizu (WC) def. Timponi/Graham (UT) 8-3
1. Julian Seneviratne (WC) def. Ryan Spencer (UT) 6-3, 6-2
2. Patricio Carregha (WC) def. Kevin Singer (UT) 7-6 (1), 6-4
3. Kevin Wright (UT) def. Chris Schommer (WC) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
4. Matt Herron (WC) def. Edward Timponi (UT) 6-2, 6-2
5. Andy Hansen (WC) def. Drew Reid (UT) 6-3, 6-1
6. Doug Kierstead (UT) def. Jonathon Pollare (WC) 6-4, 6-4