Men’s Tennis has tough two-match stretch with No. 12 Carnegie Mellon and No. 11 Whitman

Men’s Tennis has tough two-match stretch with No. 12 Carnegie Mellon and No. 11 Whitman

Photo by: Tony Leon/

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team had a tough two-match stretch against Nationally Ranked Carnegie Mellon (No. 12) and Whitman (No. 11).

They were blanked 9-0 by the Tartans and then battled the Blues falling 7-2.

The Purple & Gold who has one of the toughest schedules within the SCIAC Conference drop to 1-4.

Match 1 (No. 12 Carnegie Mellon)

The Poets faced off against the Tartans over the weekend and had a tough match-up going against two Nationally Ranked singles players and a doubles team.  They fell in doubles 8-2, 8-2, 8-3, respectively, which put them in an early hole.

In singles, Whittier provided a push but couldn't pick up a point.  Elmer Van Butselaar (Veenendaal, Netherlands) had a great match at No. 2 against Chaz Downing getting broken in each set only to fall 6-4, 6-4.

Hunter Kettering (Pleasanton, Calif.) at No. 4 put together a nice first set against Kailas Shekar getting broken late but couldn't make a dent in the second as he fell 7-5, 6-2.

Freshman Jesse Eccles (Queenstown, New Zealand) was put in at No. 6 singles against Ben Ash and he too like Van Butselaar was broken in each set falling 6-3, 6-4.

The match of the day came from freshman Tony Zhao (Toronto, Canada) who provided a scare for Robert Levin at No. 5.  He dropped the first set 6-4 before evening the match with a 6-4 second set win.  But in the third set super tiebreaker he was unable to complete the comeback as he fell 11-9.   

Match 2 (No. 11 Whitman)

Head Coach JR Sarmiento moved his lineup around Monday afternoon against Whitman.  Due to the recent strong play of the Maxwell Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Chris Palacio (El Centro, Calif.) duo they got moved into the top spot forcing Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Van Butselaar into the No. 2 slot.  Then at No. 3 he put in Zachary Ambrosio (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Sam Whitehill (Australia).  At No. 1 the Poets fell 8-1 and at No. 3 they were held scoreless at 8-0.  The match for WC came at No. 2 where T. Koszowski and Van Butselaar would fall 8-4 to Alex Hwang and Dan Foster.

Trailing 3-0 after doubles for the second straight match Whittier had their backs against the wall.  They were forced to play catch-up and they got some help at No. 2 and No. 6.  Agustin Lombardi (Argentina, Calif.) took on Ben Kish and went the distance.  He fell 6-2 to open the match but forced a third set super tiebreaker by edging Kish in a breaker in the second 7-6(5) before winning 10-6 in the third.

The Poets' second point on the day came from freshman Matt Yanuck (Studio City, Calif.) who took on Chase Friedman at the bottom of the lineup.  He rolled through the opening set 6-1 before dropping the second 6-2.  But he was able to gather himself nicely to edge Friedman in a third set breaker 10-3. 

Other notable matches came from Derek Okuhama (Tumon, Guam) at No. 5 falling 6-3, 7-5 against Foster. 

Whittier returns to the courts this evening, Tuesday, March 13 weather permitting as they take on Lake Forest beginning at 6:00pm.