Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) teams were announced for men's tennis earlier in the week and Whittier College saw Agustin Lombardi (Argentina) and Elmer Van Butselaar (Netherlands) earn recognition.
Lombardi who transferred in from Cerritos College for his senior season caps off an impressive year finding himself on the 2nd Team along with Van Butselaar.
Both earn accolades for the first time in their careers.
Lombardi played No. 1 singles for the Purple & Gold within conference play posting a 2-5 record. He jump-started conference play with a solid three-set victory against 4-star recruit Jacob Lee from Chapman winning 6-1, 6-7, 10-5. He then followed that with a straight sets win against Occidental's Lucas Chmielewski 6-4, 6-1. But after that he faced a tough five match stretch and almost pulled off upsets of Chase Lipscomb (Redlands) 6-4, 6-4 and Yahn Gawrit (Cal Lutheran) 4-6, 6-0, 2-6.
He battled with a forearm injury all season forcing him out of the doubles lineup but was able to play in the final two head-to-head match-ups with Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran. For both matches he teamed up with Chris Palacio (El Centro, Calif.) and beat the Sagehens 8-6 at No. 3 before edging the Kingsmen 8-6 to wrap up the year.
Van Butselaar was the Poets captain all season and moved around from the No. 2 slot to No. 4. He was steady in SCIAC play posting a 3-4 record in singles. He jump-started conference play winning his first three matches against Troy Manditch (Chapman – 7-6, 6-0), Ivan Derrick (Occidental – 4-6, 6-2, 6-4), and Derik Nguyen (Caltech – 6-2, 6-3). Two matches later he faced off against Noah Morrow (Redlands) and battled going the distance falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 before ending the season in a grind with Lucas Tilly (Cal Lutheran) falling in another three-setter 5-7, 7-5, 10-3.
In doubles he matched up with Thomas Koszowski (Denver, CO) and Hunter Kettering (Pleasanton, Calif.) playing at No. 2. He played the first three conference matches with Koszowski beating Chapman (8-2) but falling to Occidental (8-4) and Caltech (8-5). He then matched up with Kettering for the final four matches of the season picking up tight losses with Pomona-Pitzer (8-4) and Claremont-M-S (8-5).
SCIAC Athlete of the Year – Nikolai Parodi (Claremont-M-S)
SCIAC Newcomer of the Year – Jed Kronenberg (Pomona-Pitzer)
SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year – Mandy Gamble (Caltech)
SCIAC Sportsmanship Team – Claremont-M-S