Mighty Seniors!

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Between the two of them, seniors Conor Holton-Burke and Adriel Borshansky have collected nearly 190 career victories in singles and doubles as part of a Whitman College men’s tennis dynasty that has taken root over the past six years.

Holton-Burke and Borshansky, the only seniors on the roster this season, take to the Whitman courts for their final home matches this weekend as the Northwest Conference post-season tournament comes to campus.

Whitman, the five-time NWC champion, faces Whitworth at 10 a.m. Saturday in one of two tournament semifinal matches.

By beating the Pirates, Whitman can advance to Sunday’s 11 a.m. final against the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal.

That second semifinal, which pits Pacific against George Fox, is slated for a 2 p.m. start on Whitman’s courts.

The winner of Sunday’s final gets the NWC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship tournament.

Both Holton-Burke and Borshansky have played key roles this spring as Whitman pieced together its best season in more than two decades.

Ranked No. 1 in the West Region and No. 8 nationally, Whitman is 19-4 on the season, 12-0 in NWC matches, and 19-0 against DIII opponents.

Holton-Burke, the reigning NWC Player of the Year, is 14-6 in singles this spring, which includes a 9-1 mark in NWC matches. He is 15-7 in doubles, playing most of those matches with junior Matt Tesmond.

Borshansky has been all but unbeatable in singles during his senior campaign. After dropping a three-set decision to a player from the NAIA’s Lewis-Clark State back in February, he has won his last 19 matches.

While helping Whitman post its sixth straight undefeated NWC regular season, Borshanksy and Holton-Burke have continued to shine just as brightly in the classroom.

Borshansky, who came to Whitman from Ridgewood, N.J, […]

Double congratulations to Adriel!

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Whitman College senior Adriel Borshansky, after running his winning streak in singles to 19 matches last Saturday, has been named Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week for men’s tennis.

Borshansky, who has a 51-9 career record in singles, got his day started last Saturday with a 6-0, 7-5 victory at No. 2 singles, which helped Whitman roll to an 8-1 win over Lewis & Clark.

That team triumph gave Whitman its sixth consecutive undefeated NWC season.

After downing Lewis & Clark, Borshansky and his teammates drove two hours to Lewiston, Idaho, for a match against NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State. Whitman came up short, losing 7-2 to the Warriors, but Borshansky stretched his senior season winning streak to 19 with a 3-6, 6-1, 10-7 victory at No. 5 singles.

Whitman, which cruised to its fifth straight NWC title this spring, ended the regular season with records of 19-4 overall and 12-0 in conference.

Borshansky and Conor Holton-Burke, the only other senior on the men’s team, have helped Whitman stay undefeated against NWC teams over the course of their four seasons.

While deep Whitman rosters have given Borshansky relatively few opportunities to play doubles, his career record in doubles is 17-4. He has played doubles twice this season, teaming with sophomore Andrew La Cava for a victory in the No. 1 spot but losing at No. 3 last Saturday with junior Sam Sadeghi against Lewis-Clark State.

Ranked No. 1 in the West Region and No. 8 nationally, Whitman gets a final test this weekend when it hosts the four-team NWC post-season tournament. Two more victories would give Whitman the NWC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship tournament.

PS Adriel also passed his oral examination in Religion this week!

Yellow Jersey(s) for the Week

Congratulations to Andrew and Adriel for being voted the yellow jersey wearer(s) for the week.


Adriel Borshansky

Whitties knock down PLU 8-1

What an interesting start to a match. At 4pm the weather was beautiful — highs in the 60’s and clear blue skies. However as the match progressed Mother Nature decided to get into the act and kicked in some high winds. You know the wind is bad when you need to pick up twigs and broken branches off the court on change-overs. The wind certainly added to the excitement of #3 doubles as Steven Roston and Will Huskey played one of the more thrilling tiebreaks I have witnessed. In the end the PLU #3 got the upper hand winning 14-12 in the tie-breaker! As a team we managed to gain a 2-1 lead after the doubles with Matt and Conor winning 8-6 at #1 and Andrew and James winning 8-1 at #2.

With the gutsy winds and drop in temperature we decided to move the singles indoors. Our past weekends of intense competition have certainly sharpened everyone’s game as we cruised through the match without dropping a set. Singles match of the day goes to Will Huskey who overcame a break in the 2nd set to win 7-5, 7-6.

Interesting stat of the day — Conor now sits at 98 wins! Today when we play UPS he has a chance to join the exclusive Whitman Tennis Century Club! Looks like high winds will force our 1pm match against UPS indoors. Those in Walla Walla should drop by the courts to watch us try to knock down the Loggers.
Whitman 8 PLU 1

Conor Holton-Burke/Matt Tesmond def Ah Yat/Dickey 8-6
James Rivers/Andrew La Cava def Cotton/Olson 8-1
Steven Roston/Will Huskey lost Berg/Herron 9-8 (14-12)


Conor Holton-Burke def Ah Yat 6-4, 6-3
James Rivers def Cotton 6-2, 6-2
Adriel Borshansky def Dickey 6-1, 6-0
Steven Roston […]

Wow what a match — Whitties Defeat #22 Mary Washington

Sorry for the delay in getting to this post but the past couple days have been a whirlwind. After a long day of travel we are safely back on campus and ready for classes. All the guys on the team should be ready for early classes this week — after a week of trying to set our biologic clocks to east coast time and spending a few days on the east coast everyone should be wide awake early this morning! This past week has given me an appreciation for athletes that constantly travel across time zones and are able to maintain a peak level of performance.

On Sunday we started our match against Mary Washington at 11:30am. I’m sure the extra couple hours of sleep and playing at more “normal” time had something to do with our high level of  play. Even though we spent the previous week practicing at 6:30am in hopes of getting a head start on the time change it wasn’t quite the same as being up early to eat breakfast, warm-up and starting matches at 6am (pacific time).  On Saturday we started our day at 3:45am pacific time!

I believe during the Mary Washington match I tweeted “the match was awesome” and it was an awesome match. In fact several times Coach Todd Hebling and I would meet between courts and chat about the high level and intensity of the play. This is the type of match I would love to play every week– great play, physical points, outcome in doubt and each player/team making each other better.

Doubles was a close affair up and down the line-up. Fortunately for us at #1 Conor and Matt finally found their groove midway through the pro-set […]

Whitties finish up weekend with 9-0

What a wonderful (and long) weekend. Tonight we got the opportunity to follow-up our victory over UC Santa Cruz with a match against conference opponent George Fox. In the NWC conference Fox is a program that is on the rise — in fact earlier in the day they won 2 matches against UC Santa Cruz. Before the match we had a team meeting to talk about the importance of this match how it can be a defining moment for our program. In past years we have had good (even great) wins but followed them up with less than stellar performances. In our defense we are almost always play those “big” matches on the road and often in the middle of a long spring break trip. This was a great opportunity for the team to learn how to respond to a “big” win in the comfort of playing at home. Another thing about this year is we have several weekends of great opportunities. In addition to this weekend, we are traveling to Mary Washington to play three very good DIII teams (Mary Washington, Kalamazoo, and Rhodes). We also travel to Los Angeles for matches against Trinity, CT and a very good Whittier team. Having all these great weekends really takes the pressure off the team. Unlike past years we have multiple shots at nationally ranked programs.

One aspect of this weekend that could be overlooked is the play of Steven Roston, Will Huskey, and Colton Malasovas. Interestingly enough these three played more matches than our normally starting line-up. One of the reasons we had a good win against Santa Cruz is because of their unselfish efforts and great play. All three of them gained valuable experience […]

Whitties defeat #6 Santa Cruz 6-3

Apologies for typos and grammatically errors with this post. As I write this post its almost 1am and its been a long day. First off big thanks to the 100’s of students who came out to watch the match. Playing in front of such a large crowd doesn’t happen often in tennis and it is experience that we will all savor for years to come.

In doubles we came out strong in all three doubles, but the play of Conor/Matt at #1 was special. How special..they defeated a very good #1 team from Santa Cruz 8-1! Number 2 and 3 were both close with Whitties taking early breaks in both matches only to have Santa Cruz break back. At #2 Jeff and Andrew came back from a late break to reel off 3 straight game to take the match 8-6. At #3 freshman James Rivers and junior Sam Sadeghi traded breaks back and forth with the Cruz team — James and Sam both returned great and I think they have break points in every game but one. In the end they broke to clinch the doubles sweep 9-7.

Before the singles we had a team meeting discussing how important it was to play with confidence and to expect a major battle. UC Santa Cruz has one of the finest traditions in DIII and we all knew they were going to compete hard. One thing I must add that we have had some terrific playing opportunities the past 5-6 years (for example the NCAA’s, Stag-Hen and great spring breaks) and those opportunities have let us gain valuable experience as a program. These lessons are passed down from player to player and indeed year to year. Its really […]

So Say We All!

By vote of the team the Yellow Jersey for the week goes to Adriel!!! So Say We All!

One astute reader correctly noted the line “So Say We All” comes from the T.V. series Battlestar Galactica. If you are looking to get hooked on a new series I highly recommend BSG. Check out this video from the comedy series Portlandia.

Season Preview

News Release Date:

Monday, January 2, 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Whitman College men’s tennis team gets an early jump next week on pursuit of its fifth straight conference championship.

While the rest of the Northwest continues its shiver through the dead of winter, coach Jeff Northam and 11 of his players are ticketed for a week (Jan. 7-14) of training and matches in Hawaii.

“The NCAA exemption allows us to take a trip before the next semester starts, and we’re taking advantage of that,” Northam says.

“This will be the earliest we’ve started our spring season in my time at Whitman,” he adds. “It’s a great opportunity for a good week of training before classes get started again.”

Matches slated thus far pit Whitman against two NCAA Division II teams, Hawaii-Pacific and BYU-Hawaii. Northam also hopes to schedule at least one more match.

“This trip is a testament to the great alumni support our program receives,” Northam says. “That support makes a huge difference in keeping these trips affordable and providing a great experience for our student athletes.

“One of our freshmen (James Rivers) is from Hawaii, and his family is also giving us a place to stay for the week.”

Sam Sadeghi, a junior, is the only player unable to make the trip. He plans to spend the week studying for his Medical School Admission Test (MCAT). (more…)