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 […]

Off to Boise!

The weekend of Oct 3-5 we had a bit of an impromptu trip to Boise State University for the Dar Walters Classic. Six players – Colton,James, Phillip, Petar, Parker and Adam loaded up Thursday after classes and headed out to my old stomping grounds in Boise (I was the assistant at Boise State many years ago).

This turned out to be a fantastic and fun event. Weather was incredible all weekend and the venues were spectacular – Appleton Tennis Center, Julia Davis Park, and the Boas Bubble (well the bubble wasn’t all that special – who really likes to play in a bubble). I also loved how Coach Patton and Coach Shields set up the draw. They had 5 different flights of 16 players and ran a compass draw in every flight. Was a wonderful opportunity for all the players to get in 4 singles matches against D1 opponents. Was awesome to see how much everyone improved over the weekend. I’m blessed to have a talented and competitive team and the level of their games improved each day.

Oh, must note that all the matches played no-add scoring and used the D1 let rule on serves.

Here is the breakdown of each flight.

Colton A Flight: really good stuff from Colton this tournament. He went toe-to-toe with the top players from each school. Two of his matches were close 3 setters and the other match he lost was incredibly close – in fact I think in his first match he lost 6 out of 7 no add games.

1st match lost Dennis Baumgartner (Utah State) 6-4, 6-2. Baumgartner made the finals

2nd match Lost Mathieu Garcia (U of Portland) 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2

3rd match Lost Todd Fought (Weber State) 4-6, […]

By |October 21st, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

Fall wrap up part #1

I feel bad that it has been so long since I updated the blog. Summer camps ran into the fall and the start of the school year. Some other personal duties took up all my free time in September and I had little time for writing & updating the blog.

With this update it’s probably best to start with the most recent and work backwards.

Four Day Break

With Whitman’s four day break falling on the heels of ITA Nationals in Sumter, SC I was able to take a couple days of R&R and hiked into Hell’s Canyon for a couple days of steelhead fishing. Amazing rugged and beautiful country. What a great way to get a way for a couple days and catch some nice fish!


I know this has nothing to do with Whitman Tennis BUT I had to write something so I could share a nice picture!

ITA Nationals

After coming home late Sunday night from the Boise State Tournament (more on this later) I left Monday afternoon with Zach Hewlin and Jake Hoeger for the ITA Small College National Tournament in Sumter, SC. Since Jake had a class presentation Monday afternoon we booked a red-eye flight out of Seattle Monday night. This allowed us to leave campus at 4pm and make the last flight out of Seattle.

As we found out traveling from Walla Walla to Sumter isn’t easy nor direct. Even though we had a direct flight from Seattle to Atlanta we still had to connect to Columbia SC and then drive an hour to Sumter, SC. The nice thing about leaving Monday afternoon is it allowed us to sleep (a bit on the flight) and set our internal clocks to east coast time. It also […]

Phalkun plays in the Davis Cup!

Whitman tennis alum Phalkun Mam (2007) just sent out a report of his Davis Cup experience playing for Cambodia. Huge congratulations to Phalkun for winning singles and doubles matches in the Davis Cup! If the powerpoint slides are difficult to read try viewing the file here

Phalkun also included this write up of the Cambodia Davis Cup program. For easier viewing click here.

By |June 25th, 2014|Alumni|0 Comments

NCAA team recap

So I’m a bit behind on my postings! It’s the end of the season and we have been traveling a bit so please forgive me.

For the team NCAAs we traveled back to St Louis to play at Washington University. Must say we had a great time in Saint Louis. The Wash U folks were great hosts and put on a first class event. How about this for an example? For our first round matches Wash U opted to play off site at Dwight Davis Park so we could play University of the South at the main site. Again great hosts and hats off to Coach Follmer and the Wash U crew for putting on a first class event.

As the #2 seed in the bracket we had a bye which can be a blessing or a curse. The past few years it has been a curse as our first match (the semis) has always been a tough one and we never got a chance to play a match to find our groove.

This year we played a very good University of the South team whose roster is made up of a 4-star and 3-stars. We knew it was going to be a tough match but fortunately we rose to the occasion. After a bit of a slow start in doubles we ended up sweeping and then got quick wins at #5 and #6 (Petar and James) to give us the 5-0 win.

In the round of 16 we locked up with the hosts and #2 team in the nation Washington University. In doubles we took a quick loss at #3 (James/Steven) but fortunately #1 (Andrew/Colton) defeated one of the top teams in the country to make the […]

NWC Champions!

Wow at this point in the season all the weeks are a blur as we are getting near the finish line. Been a busy couple weeks for the Whitties and I’m sorry for the lack of updates.

Two weeks ago we played our final regular season home matches against Linfield (Fri) and Willamette (Sat). It was great to send the seniors off on a positive note BUT incredibly disappointing that neither Linfield nor Willamette could field a full a team. In fact Willamette only brought up 4 players .. not even enough players for our five seniors to play against!

Last week started the week off on an emotional high note. As I’ve discussed a few times on this blog we start every week off by awarding the “yellow jersey”. Everyone nominates a player they feel showed great leadership during the previous week.  Once we get together in a group to start practice those that nominated the winner have to say why. This week senior Atanas Atanasov (Nasko) was so caught up in the emotion of receiving this award from his teammates that he broke down into tears .. and in the process made most of the team get very weepy (I must admit I shed a few tears). Well earned Nasko!

Big event for the week was hosting the NWC Tennis Tournament. By virtue of winning the regular season conference title we received the #1 seed and earned the honor of hosting the tournament.

Friday morning we opened our conference tournament campaign against #4 seeds Lewis Clark College. Even though we had beaten the Pioneers twice this year the match wasn’t without drama as NWC Player of the Year suffered a foot injury and wasn’t able to […]

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    Week in review — crossing a dam, rafting, camping and a few matches!

Week in review — crossing a dam, rafting, camping and a few matches!

Wow it’s been a crazy busy week and I didn’t have much time to do any writing. Plus now that I’m getting older I’m not sure how much I remember from the past week!

After a 2-week break from competitive match play we again took to the courts the weekend of April 5 & 6 for conference matches against Lewis Clark and George Fox. Saturday we defeated the #4 team in the conference 8-1. Our only loss was at #1 where Colton dropped a close three-setting against LC’s talented freshman Michael Brewer. On Sunday we made the trek to Newberg and defeated the Bruins 9-0.
What I mainly remember about the weekend was our pizza buffet at a nearby Family Fun Center with tennis alumni Dr. Clifford Mah (’99). Not only were we treated to an all you can eat dinner but had access to all activities at the Family Fun Center. Highlight for the night was when the entire team (and only the team) had access to the go cart race track. First round of racing was pretty mellow with some occasional bumping and passing (dang you Will for spinning me out!). The second time was pure chaos — anything and everything was in play! Bumping, crashing, passing, fist pumping you name it — basically pure chaos. In this race I certainly had my game face on and was the CLEARLY the best driver! Let’s go coach!

There was also some 2 vs 2 mini golf competitions but I don’t remember too much about the games. I think Parker and I lost by a couple strokes but who was REALLY counting….?
Dr. Mah thanks for the amazing evening of food and fun!

Take away points from the Portland […]

Spring Break Recap

What’s not to like about a two-week spring break? The team had a solid week of play (well, actually – two weeks with CMS, Trinity, UC Santa Cruz on campus early in the month) and now a week of much-needed R & R! The only drawback is that I’ve been too busy with the R & R part to update the blog…sorry, but this is going to be a long post!

Chapter 1 – Women’s Basketball and The Best Volunteer Ever!

We started off spring break with matches in Tacoma against conference opponents PLU and UPS. Since we were near SeaTac airport, I arranged the schedule so we could play our conference matches and then fly to California for our next set of matches. I even arranged for good friend and Whitman Cross Country coach Scott Shields to travel with us so that he could bring the Whitman turtletop van back to campus. However, our amazing women’s basketball team threw a wrench into my carefully crafted plans. Because our women’s basketball team is so amazing, they were selected to host the first two weekends of the NCAA tournament! Such an awesome experience for the women’s team and they made the most of it, advancing all the way to the National Championship finals where they lost to FDU. Their run to the finals was even more special for our team since they are our sister team and we do a lot of activities together.

Since women’s basketball was hosting, Scott, who is a senior athletic administrator, had to stay on campus for the games. On very short notice (two days) the BEST volunteer EVER Tom Sawatzki made the trip with us. Tom is also the coordinator for our […]