Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team following an 8-1 loss to Cerritos College in an exhibition opened up 2018 with a Division III match-up with UC Santa Cruz but couldn't climb out of an early hole as they fell 7-2.
The Purple & Gold fell behind early 3-0 after doubles but managed to take two of six singles matches, both coming in three-setters at the No. 5 and No. 6 slots.
After 8-2 losses at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, the Poets' top duo of Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Elmer Van Butselaar (Veenendaal, Netherlands) provided a push against UC Santa Cruz' Chad Stone and Ryan Dugan but couldn't hold on late as they fell 8-6.
In singles the Banana Slugs continued to roll taking the top four singles positions. T. Koszowski provided a battle at No. 1 against Chad Le Duff falling 6-3, 6-3 and Agustin Lombardi (Argentina) playing with an injured hand was able to push out a 7-5 first set before falling 6-2 in the second to Stone.
The matches on the day came at the bottom. Junior Chris Palacio (El Centro, Calif.) got the Poets first point on the afternoon battling back after a 6-1 loss in the first set to turn the tides winning the second 6-1 before prevailing 10-6 in a third set tiebreaker.
Senior Hunter Kettering (Pleasanton, Calif.) followed suit going the distance as well. He took the first set in a lopsided 6-1 frame and then saw Floyd Penners squeeze out the second 6-4. Then in the third it was all Kettering as he would battle to pull off the 10-8 win giving Whittier their second point.
Whittier continues their 12-match home stand this Sunday, March 4 as they welcome in Mary Washington beginning at 2:30pm.