Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Tennis team had a tough week with two matches against Arizona Christian University (8-1) and Tufts University (7-2).
Match 1 (Arizona Christian University; L, 8-1)
The Purple & Gold faced off against a scholarship program in Arizona Christian University to start off their day. They were swept in doubles with Hunter Kettering (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Elmer Van Butselaar (Veenendaal, Netherlands) battling at No. 1 only to fall 8-5.
In singles, it was a complete 180 with the Poets proving tough for the Firestorm going the distance in two matches and forcing a tiebreaker in another.
Kettering picked up the lone win for Whittier at No. 3 winning the first 6-4 before being edged 7-5 in the second. Then in the third set ultimate tiebreaker he would come out on top 10-2. Freshman Derek Okuhama (Tumon, Guam) proved a tough match-up for Vang at No. 6. He won the opening frame 7-5 before dropping the next two sets 7-6 (6), 11-9.
Agustin Lombardi (Argentina) played in the top spot against Miritello and despite a 6-2 drop in the first set, would come back to force a breaker in the second only to fall 7-6 (6). Van Butselaar and Tony Zhao (Toronto, Canada) each had respectable matches at No. 2 and No. 5, each getting broken in each set falling 6-3, 6-3 and 6-3, 6-4, respectively.
Match 2 (No. 17 Tufts University; L, 7-2)
Whittier returned the next day to face off against No. 17 Tufts University and they too proved a tall task for the Poets. WC was able to take one of two doubles to stay in striking distance. Chris Palacio (El Centro, Calif.) and Maxwell Koszowski (Denver, CO) managed to take their eight-game pro set 8-5, while Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Van Butselaar would fall 8-5 at No. 1 and Lombardi and Kettering going down 8-4 at No. 2.
The Poets tried to comeback in singles but couldn't make a dent in the match. Their lone win coming at No. 2 from Lombardi who won due to default with the match tied up at 2-2. Van Butselaar after a 6-1 loss in the opening set was able to battle in the second only to fall 6-4 to Ben Biswas, while Okuhama dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision at No. 5 against Nathan Niemiec.