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 […]

Yellow Jersey — Jan 31, 2014

Goes to Andrew La Cava. Team members mentioned how hard Andrew has been working and he has been an outstanding leader this semester. Congratulations Andrew!

JAVA vs Wash U match breaker

2013 ITA Fall Nationals Doubles Semi-Final Match tiebreaker
Wash U won the first set and Whitman took the 2nd Set.

(sorry about the angle of the video — camera was clipped onto the fence

All good things must come to an end

Wow I can’t believe it has been 5 days since the ITA National finals! Also can’t believe that I didn’t write an update:( Sorry to the Whitman tennis family.

JAVA (James and Andrew) had an unbelievable, indeed a magical, run to the national championship finals. Dating back to the regional ITA tournament they won 4 consecutive matches that went to a match tie-breaker!  In fact after they lost the national championship match they were joking that they knew they were in trouble because the finals was a full third set match!

While JAVA was winning nailing biting matches their opponents from Middlebury had swept through the draw without dropping a set. In fact in the Middlebury’s previous two matches they had lost a total of 11 games (closest set was 6-3). Team JAVA was certainly battle tested going into the match but the Middlebury team was playing with a ton of confidence.

The beginning of the match was an absolutely battle — tons of long games and a lot of break opportunities. Early in the first set JAVA drew the first break and was up 4-2 with Middlebury serving. Looking back this was the critical game of the match. At 4-2 JAVA had 5 break points to go up 5-2 serving. But the Middlebury team was relentless in their serving attack — every time they need a point they bombed in a big serve or made a clutch volley. I wonder what would of happened of JAVA had capitalized on one of those break points. With a 2 break lead I think they would of closed out the 1st set putting them 1 set away form the national title. However Middlebury ended up holding and then breaking […]

By |October 17th, 2013|2013-2014 season|0 Comments

Geez..2 more match breakers?

Really speechless this evening. What an unbelievable run this fall for James and Andrew (JAVA). A week ago they won the northwest ITA/USTA doubles tournament by gutting out a 3rd set match breaker against teammates Andy Riggs and Steven Roston. Yesterday they won a tough play-in match against Trinity (was 10-2 in the 3rd set breaker).

This afternoon they played the #1 team from Skidmore. And just like their previous two matches they dropped the 1st set. And just like their last two matches they were basically deadlocked in the 2nd set before going on an amazing streak — today they were tied at 2-2 in the 2nd set when they ripped off 4 straight games to even the match at 1-set all. They ended carrying their momentum into the 3rd set breaker winning 10-4.

So JAVA has now won 3 straight matches in a 3rd set match breaker.

In the semi-finals JAVA played a very good Wash U team. And just like the early matches they dropped the 1st first set — this time 1 break 3-6. However they kept their cool, continued to compete and work hard to win the 2nd set 6-3. This match breaker really went down to the wire. We got a bit lucky at 10-10 in the tiebreak when the Wash U team made an uncharacteristic mistake. Andrew took advantage of that mistake to uncork a huge serve winning the match 3-6, 6-3, 12-10.

Java has now won 4 straight matches in a 3rd set match breaker. Coach now has much more grey in beard!

Tomorrow they get the opportunity to play for the National Doubles title against Middlebury. Match is scheduled for 215pm. As usual there will be twitter updates at #whitmantennis.

Sorry […]

By |October 10th, 2013|2013-2014 season|0 Comments

Play-in day at the ITA’s

What a whirlwind couple days. Monday after classes we left Walla Walla and drove to Portland to catch a 1040pm red-eye to Florida. By getting in somewhat early on Tuesday (10am) we had some time to hit and get used to the heat and humidity (its near 90 with pretty high humidity).

First match of the day was Andrew vs Trinity’s D1 transfer Paxton Deuel. Paxton certainly proved he is a force to be reckoned with in D3 — not only did he easily win the Texas region (I don’t think he dropped a set) but he played very steady tennis today to take down Andrew 6-2, 6-3. Andrew never really found his rhythm the entire match. But a lot of that was due to the fact the Trinity standout hit a heavy deep ball. Regardless Andrew had some chances — in the first set 5 games went to deuce and Andrew couldn’t capitalize on any of the big points (he lost all 5 of those games).

In the afternoon, it was another Whitman vs Trinity matchup as team JAVA (James and Andrew) took on the top team from Trinity. From the start JAVA was just a bit off. They were tight, easily frustrated and in general not making enough balls to give themselves a chance in the match. At 5-5 the wheels came off a bit as James was broken and Trinity held at love to take the 1st set 7-5. Plus the first game of the 2nd set Andrew was easily broken giving Trinity all the momentum at the start of the 2nd set. At one point in the set the Whitties were down a break 2-3 when JAVA FINALLY started to loosen up. Instead of being frustrated and upset they […]

ITA Wrap-up

What a fantastic past week for Whitman tennis. On Monday we had the official opening of our new courts — and boy are these courts awesome. I’ve played/coached many places and I’ve never seen such a beautiful setting for tennis. The courts were opened just in time as we were slated to host the Northwest ITA/USTA regional tournament on Friday. I had many a sleepless night wondering if the courts would be done in time for the tournament.

For the ITA /USTA regional tournament teams are assigned how many players they get into the main draw based on last year’s conference finish. As the top team in the conference we were slotted 8. However we are 13 deep this year so we had to put 5 players into qualifying. Really too bad for these players as many of them can compete with the #1’s from any team in the conference. On Friday the 5 Whitman qualifiers all ran through their qualifying matches without dropping a set (Will Huskey, James Rivers, Joey Diaz, Parker Silverman, and Jacob Christensen).

There are far too many matches to highlight but let me say the Whitman players pretty much dominated the event. In singles we had 9 of the final 16 players and all 4 singles semi-finalists. In doubles we had 4 of the final 8 teams and both finalist. It was SUCH a gratifying experience to see all the men on the Whitman team battle (and defeat) the top players from the other schools. One of the best moments of the weekend was Sunday morning when, about the same time, Whitman players knocked off higher seeds in three sets — freshman Petar Jivkov won had a wonderful match against one […]

By |October 3rd, 2013|2013-2014 season|1 Comment

At the Kzoo!

Currently at Kalamazoo College for the 2013 NCAA D3 Singles and Doubles Championships. We were VERY fortunate to have Colton (singles) and Colton/Andrew make it into the tournament.

This morning we were lucky to hit outside for a bit before the rains came down. The weather today has really messed with the final day of the team tournament — all the matches have been moved indoor courts all across town.

Looks like more rain tomorrow so all the singles and doubles matches will be scattered around town and we won’t know matches times until later tonight. However we do know that we have very tough matches tomorrow. In singles Colton plays the #6 seed (#1 player from NC Wesleyan). In doubles Andrew/Colton drew the #2 seeds (#1 team from Wash U). We are all very excited to be playing some of the best players/teams in the nation.

As usual I will be providing twitter updates at @northam. Here are links to the draws:




NWC Conference Awards

Several Whitman men’s tennis players filled the All-Northwest Conference teams, announced today as voted upon by the coaches, including Missionary sophomore Colton Malesovas receiving NWC Player of the Year honors, after the No. 15 ranked Whits won their sixth straight conference title and completed their seventh consecutive undefeated NWC regular season.

Joining Malesovas on the First Team is teammate and main doubles partner Andrew La Cava who earned First team honors for the third straight season. Three Missionaries: Sam Sadeghi, Steven Roston and Andy Riggs all earned Second Team accolades.

Playing at No. 1 singles the entire season, Malesovas becomes the ninth Whitman player to win the POY honor.  Malesovas racked up a 6-1 record in conference, winning a key match in the Missionaries NWC Championship finals victory against George Fox 6-2, 6-1. The No. 10 ranked player in the nation, consistently facing the top competition, finished with a 9-8 record that included two close losses to players ranked in the top 20 and a three-set defeat to 3rd-ranked Adam Putterman of Washington University. Playing at every doubles position in the lineup, Malesovas tallied an 18-4 record, taking the court with seven different partners during the season, going 12-0 in conference. Malesovas was named the NWC Student Athlete of the Week in March after going 5-1 in 3 matches.
La Cava, a reigning All-American, sported a 6-5 singles mark at the No. 2 spot, proving clutch in conference where he went 4-0. Paired with Sadeghi early in the season and then Malesovas the latter two-thirds, the junior from Bellevue, Washington posted a 12-6 overall and 6-2 conference record, winning two long and dramatic matches in the conference championships with Malesovas.
Playing at the No. 3 singles spot for […]

Fall rankings are out

Preseason rankings are out:
Whitman #13 nationally and #6 in the West
Colton Malesovas #10 Nationally #3 in West

Andrew La Cava #10 in the West

Andy Riggs #13 in the West
Andrew La Cava/James Rivers #2 Nationally #1 in West

Matt Tesmond/Andy Riggs #6 in West

Steven Roston/Noah Lee #13 in West



By |November 5th, 2012|2012-2013 season|1 Comment