On relationships a letter from Dr Ball Jan, 1998

Teachers often get so used to talking that they often do not know how to stop. That’s all too true of me. Aware of this, I cannot resist the temptation to offer a few ideas to you, the members of Whitman men’s and women’s tennis teams whom I have come to know and enjoy.

For 37 years I have maintained a close relationship with Whitman’s tennis players, and it pleases my soul to say that I have rarely seen bad or even poor sportsmanship. Thus the following remarks are general, totally lacking of any personal reference. To me, the tennis court is not simply a place for an athletic event. It is a stage on which a large part of what is to be the theme of one’s life is acted out. It is almost certain that what you are on the tennis court is what you will be as a friend, as a husband or wife, and in your professional life.

It is on the tennis court that one creates or exhibits a response to danger and defeat, to tiredness, to surprise or bad luck, and also to bad behavior as one confronts it in a cantankerous opponent. All of these experiences have their precise parallels in ordinary life. One is similarly tested as to his or her capacity to care for the welfare of the team instead of being absorbed in one’s private progress. The care and self-discipline that one employs in preparation for the tennis match is likely to be the same that will be used in getting ready to face life’s larger roles.

To be specific, it is my hope that anyone whom you play against would finish the match having enjoyed playing with you (regardless of the outcome), because of the way you treated him or her. There are some people whom you will not […]

Another note from Dr Ball, April 1999

Dear Jeff,

After yesterday’s loss to Willamette, something in me wants to write a note to the men on the tennis team. If you think it is helpful in any way, you could forward it on to them.

To the Whitman Men’s Tennis Team.

After the loss to Willamette yesterday I felt disappointed and sad. However, this feeling was not because the team lost but because I know the loss would make you disappointed and sad, too. For that I am sorry, for you have worked so hard this year and won many matches by sheer persistence and courage. Naturally, like you, I was hoping for victory in this last match, for it would have closed out the conference dual meets without defeat.

Even so, I suspect that you are not crushed in spirit, for you probably already know how to respond to both victory and defeat. The fact is that in one sense they are both the same. Both have good and bad aspects.

Victory can be destructive for it can lead to conceit and complacency, both of which tend to cut off further efforts to improve. Defeat is also destructive, for it can lead to loss of confidence, withdrawal and discouragement. Either victory or defeat can do you damage, if they are allowed to, or they can lead to improvement, if properly interpreted.

Some people experience the negative aspects of defeat even without competing, by fearing losing. I have encountered college students who would not ask a girl for a date, for fear of being turned down, and men who would not permit themselves to fall in love, fearing that the girl might change her mind. If one can manage and use rejection and defeat, then that person […]

By |December 5th, 2014|1999 Season, Alumni|0 Comments

Letter from Dr. Ball Sept 29, ’07

Sept 29, ’07

Dear Jeff,

I am leaving town tomorrow on a trip with my wife to Cambodia and Viet Nam and will be back of October 17, but I don’t want to leave without a word of big congratulation for the performance of your team a week ago. It was the most impressive total sweep I think I have ever seen at Whitman in my 47 years here. Do inform the members of the team that it seems to me that they have achieved an historic accomplishment, more impressive than any other that I can recall. – It is an additional lift to think that it is a young team and that I will be able to witness more of their attainments. It brings to mind the conference tennis championship tournament of 1964, if I remember the year right, when up at Spokane the team won the title, when no Whitman player lost except to another Whitman player, but that was easier, it involved only 5 Whitman players. (back in the days when the matches involved only 5 singles. And two doubles).

Naturally, I would like to know some of the present team better and how they look at life and tennis.. So do offer them this invitation to drop by my office, which is room 110A in the basement of Memorial. I know that they are all very busy, so I would be happy if they could only spare say up to 15 minutes. — When my garden freezes, I will be able to watch more of your practice sessions, and of course home matches.

Very best wishes to all,

George Ball


Going through old files today and ran across this hand typed letter from the one and […]

Class of 2014 Poster

ITA Rankings

The D3 tennis national and regional rankings came out last week and Whitman is well represented in both rankings. While it’s certainly nice to be ranked these are the “fall results” which are based off of last year’s standings and the fall ITA regional tournaments.

Team Rankings

#13 National

#4 in West

Singles National

#17 Zach Hewlin

#23 Colton Malesovas

Singles Regional

#5 Zach Hewlin

#7 Colton Malesovas

#14 Gary Ho

Doubles National

#9 Jake Hoeger/Zach Hewlin

#17 Colton Malesovas/James Rivers

Doubles Regional

#3 Jake Hoeger/Zach Hewlin

#5 Colton Malesovas/James/Rivers

#14 Petar Jivkov/Robert Carter








By |November 4th, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

Its tennis reunion time!

Wow two posts in a morning. Just had to say how excited I am for the Whitman tennis reunion in Las Vegas this weekend! Looking forward to seeing tennis alumni this evening! Will be the best Halloween ever! Ever!

It’s the most beautiful time of the year..

Earlier this week I took a few students from my fly fishing class to a nearby mountain river for a few hours of fishing. And yes it is very cool that I teach a fly fishing class. Not sure how many other colleges offer fly fishing — but Whitman does! A few years ago I was approached by a group of students who wanted to learn how to fly fish and asked if I would be able/willing to teach a class. So created the class — which has turned out to be quite popular!

While out with my class I was overwhelmed with the magnificent colors this time of year. I was also struck with how lucky I am to live in this amazing place with an such absurdly high qualify of life. My words can’t do justice — instead enjoy some pictures. 

By |October 31st, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

Parents and Pumpkins

This past weekend was very busy at Whitman. Guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise since it was family weekend. The team’s weekend started off with a lunch at one of our favorite places Phoumy’s. We all REALLY love the all can you eat Thai buffet (only on Thursdays and Fridays). We were fortunate to have Leanne and Emma Hewlin as well as Lisa Malesovas join us for lunch. Also big thanks to Ada Ho for inviting me over to a home cooked lunch on Saturday — it was amazing!

Saturday evening we tried something new and had a family reception at the Otis Kenyon tasting room. Owner Muriel Kenyon was nice enough to open up the tasting room for our private event. Was really fun getting to see all the family and friends who made the trek in Walla Walla. Was suprising that we had over 30 people at the reception — now that is family support! Thanks to Muriel for taking the time to open the tasting room and pour many of her wines. Also thanks to Olive Catering who provided an amazing spread of food!

Here is a link to photos from the event.

Sunday the team was invited to have a chili dinner and pumpkin carving experience with the women’s volleyball team. Freshman Trevor Fennessy took it upon himself to represent the men’s team by cooking a pot of chili — way to go Trevor! Coach also got in the act with a pot of chili and cornbread pudding with a whiskey caramel sauce (yum). However truth be told the volleyball team outdid our efforts by not only cooking chili but crafting 4 amazing fresh apple pies. As in so fresh they picked the apples […]

By |October 29th, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

Fall Milestones

Couple major milestones from the fall.

Congratulations to Zach Hewlin and Jake Hoeger for earning a spot on the 2015 All-American team! By virtue of winning a regional event Zach will be an All-American in both Singles & Doubles and  Jake will be All-American in Doubles! Way to go both of you!


James Rivers welcome to the Century Club! Even though James lost most of last year due to a shoulder injury he still managed to reach the 100 milestone this fall. His banner now hangs in the Bratton Tennis Center.

By |October 23rd, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

PNW/ITA Tournament

If these seems out of order remember I’m working backwards on the fall recaps.

We hosted the PNW/ITA Sept 20-22 and it’s been nearly a month since the tournament so many of details are a bit fuzzy around the edges.

I do remember having perfect weather for the tournament. It did get a bit warm over the weekend: with high temperatures climbing into the 90’s it was well over 100 on the court. This was also the largest and most competitive PNW/ITA tournament in many years. Normally the tournament is a draw of 64 with a few qualifying matches. This year we had almost 40 players in the qualifying draw! Some players had to play a whopping 5 matches (between singles and doubles) just to make it into the main draw.

Speaking of qualifying I think it was the first time EVER we managed to get 8 doubles teams into the main draw. We had 4 guaranteed main draw spots and our other 4 teams swept the qualifying taking all four available spots – Gary/Phillip won 8-3 & 8-0, Jacob/Trevor won 8-4 & 8-4, Adam/Alex won 8-5 & 8-3, and Joey/Luke won 8-0, 9-8.

In singles qualifying we managed to get 6 of the 8 qualifying spots. Lots of great efforts in the Friday qualifying but freshman Luke Targett certainly impressed winning 3 singles matches. His last singles went the distance as he won 11-9 in the 3rd set match breaker.

Other singles qualifiers included Phillip (won 2 matches), Joey (won 2 matches), James (won 2 matches), Parker (won 2 matches), and Jake (won 2 matches).

Shows the depth of our team as we went 19-2 in qualifying matches!

In the main draw we had some really tough match ups. Many […]