Advice from alumns

I asked members of the alumni tennis family to send a note back to the team about the season … advice, thoughts, memories etc. Here are some of the responses:

Enjoy this time.  Enjoy the hard work on the days you don’t feel like practicing.  Enjoy the bond of being a teammate on those long van trips.  Enjoy the time you spend sitting around in between matches in places like Lewiston or Ellensburg and you are stuck doing your homework.  Enjoy the battles you have on the court, including the great wins and even the heartbreaking losses.  If possible, try to not take any of these experiences for granted.  And don’t do this because this is as good as it gets or life after college isn’t great – it is great, even better in my opinion.  Do it because you are living a unique time in your life and you are doing something unique.  Do it because this is the one time you will experience the type of brotherhood you are enjoying right now.  Do it because you will remember many years into the future the effort and determination you are choosing now to put into every practice, match and relationship that is part of your time on the Whitman Tennis team.  So work hard, but enjoy it.  By doing this, I know you will make the Whitman community and your teammates proud.  And most importantly, you will make yourselves proud.  Good luck this year.
Dear Fighting Squirrels,The other day, I told coach to let you guys know how lucky you are to have another season of Whitman tennis to look forward to, but he just told me to write you guys a letter. Hours at […]

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

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!

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

Congratulations Dr Owen Bargreen

Owen just announced this his new book ” Starting a Successful Practice in Clinical Psychology and Counseling: A Guide for Students in Psychology and New Career Pyschologists” will be released September 27th! Here is the link to the book.

So very cool that all your hard work and dedication has paid off! So from the Whitman tennis family…congratulations!

By |September 1st, 2013|Alumni|0 Comments

Catching up with alumni — Sam Spiegel and Phalkun Mam

Tonight I was sitting at my computer when I noticed Sam Spiegel (2004) was online. Wasn’t too long before Phalkun Mam (2007) as showed up online and I invited him to join in our chat. Sam was a senior when Phalkun was a freshman so they had a lot to catch-up on!

Both are in great spirits and both pursuing very interesting career options.

Phalkun had just finished playing in the finals of a men’s open tournament and was bit beat after the long weekend and drive home. In mid-August Phalkun leaves for Cambodia where he will become the Assistant to the Director of the Cambodian Tennis Federation. Phalkun will be identifying and working with young  Cambodian tennis talent.  Phalkun was also happy to report that he is on the Cambodian Davis Cup team that will be playing in Dubai in September. Congratulations to Whitman’s current all-time win holder on his new position and opportunity!

Sam is currently a Lecturer in International Development at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. After leaving Whitman, Sam received a Trudeau Foundation Scholarship to continuing his academic pursuits at Cambridge University. Sam mentioned he hopes to have his PhD wrapped up in the coming weeks! We were speaking/chatting about his experience at Whitman and Sam had the following to say

“Whitman prepared me in a huge number of ways for PhD work at Cambridge and the United Nations projects that I got involved in after I graduated from Whitman. I gained so much from the Whitman politics department and the great times with the tennis team and debate team and all the amazing times there. I’m currently lecturing at the University of Edinburgh and teaching courses in a new international development programme, […]

By |July 7th, 2013|Alumni|0 Comments

A most glorious weekend

What a great Presidents Day weekend! Not only did we defeat Willamette in our first home match of the year. But we had visits from Justin Hayashi (2009)and Etienne Moshevich (2011).  Justin was on campus as part of Whitman’s Entrepreneurial Conference. Even though Justin only graduated a few years ago he has a wealth of experience. After graduation he joined the Boeing management program and spent two years traveling around the world learning/working for many different aspects of Beoing. Recently he left Boeing to join Zulily (one of Seattle’s fastest growing companies).

Etienne is happy to report that he too is doing fine in the business world. In fact he recently opened his own investor relation company (Transcend Resource Group). Great to see both of these tennis standouts doing well in the business world. Anyone want to guess who won more matches during their time at Whitman?

Back to the headline event of the weekend..our match against Willamette. This was a fun match because the weather was great (at least at the start of the match) so we used 4 indoor courts and 4 outdoor courts to play 8 simultaneous singles matches.

In doubles we started off rock solid at #2 and #3 doubles — at #2 the team “Mandy” (Matt Tesmond and Andy Rigss) rolled to an impressive 8-0 victory and at #3 Noah Lee and Colton Malesovas cruised to an quick 8-1 victory. Unfortunately the duo of Andrew La Cava and Sam Sadeghi dropped their 2nd match in a row 8-9. Much like their match against LCSC Sam/Andrew had chances going up a break several times  but then struggled to hold serve.

In singles we couldn’t agree which matches to play indoors/outdoors so we flipped a coin to see which team would […]