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

Yellow jersey this week was a tie! Congratulations to Jake Hoeger and Colton Malesovas for winning this award. Perhaps it had something to do with their superior skill playing tennis in the snow!

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

First Yellow Jersey of the academic year!

With the start of fall season its time for the annual tradition of the yellow jersey! At the beginning of each week each team member votes for a person they felt was a true team leader the previous week. Had a lot of nominations this week including Nasko, James, Joey, and Jake but the winners (we had a tie) are Colton and Andy. Congratulations to both!

 

Tough first round singles at the NCAAs

Today at the NCAA D3 tournament rain played havoc with the schedule and the players. Instead of being able to use the historic Stowe Stadium at Kalamazoo, tournament officials were forced to move men’s and women’s play to a variety of indoor courts around the area. I have to add that the officials and referee (Darren Potkey) did an amazing job rescheduling all the matches. Given how many matches were rained out it is simply incredible that the officials were able put out a smooth running schedule.

Colton’s 10am match was pushed back to 12:30. Colton had a tall order of playing NCW’s #1 player Robert Kjellberg. Kjellberg is the #6 seed but started the year off as the #2 player in the nation.

Going into the match I thought moving to the fast indoor courts would benefit Colton. I was hoping his typical penetrating groundstrokes would be even more effective on the quicker courts. However it was Kjellberg who used the quicker courts to his advantage. The #1 from NCW served incredibly well – in fact at the start of match he made 10 out of 12 huge first serves earning quick holds.

On the flip side Colton didn’t play his best tennis and made a rash of uncharacteristic errors. Several games he got into trouble by making 3-4 unforced errors while trying to unleash big forehands. Part this was certainly due to the fact that Kjellberg was playing well and making so few mistakes – Colton literally had to create something to win a point.

Colton certainly battled hard and put up a good fight but in the end he lost 6-1, 6-2. This tournament was a great experience for him and it has add fuel […]

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:

Singles

Doubles

 

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 […]

Colton Named NWC Player of the Week!

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Whitman sophomore and No. 11 ranked player in the nation, Colton Malesovas has been dubbed the Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week for his resilient performances this past weekend in leading the Missionaries to wins over conference foe Linfield and 16th ranked Pomona-Pitzer.
Playing at No. 1 singles, the big hitter from Austin, Texas battled back against two-time all-NWC pick Troy Zuroske 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) to give Whitman its seventh conference win. Two days later,facing the Sage Hens of Pomona, Malesovas prevailed in another marathon match at No. 1, coming out on top against Max Sabel 4-6, 7-5, (10-7). Later that very same day, Malesovas faced another stout opponent at No. 1 in UT Tyler’s  Ryan Ybarra, taking the first set 6-4 before running out of gas and dropping the final two, 3-6 and 2-6.
On the doubles side, Malesovas partnered with Andrew La Cava (Jr., Bellevue, WA) to provide wins in all three matches.

Malesovas is the second Whitman men’s netter to earn NWC Student-Athlete of the Week this spring season – Steven Roston (Jr., San Carlos, CA) was tabbed earlier — and the fourth overall. Courtney Lawless (So., Austin, TX) and Alyssa Roberg (Sr., Scotts Valley, CA) gained the honor on the women’s side.

The Whitman men are taking a break from conference play by taking on a host of talented teams in Hawaii, beginning this Friday.

See full men’s schedule at Men’s Tennis Schedule.

 

Weekly Yellow Jersey Goes To…

Colton Malesovas! For the second time in three weeks, Colton’s teammates selected him to wear the yellow jersey. Congratulations to Colton!

Since we are leaving for Hawaii in a few weeks I thought this an appropriate photo.

Yellow Jersey Feb 4, 2013

We are heading into our 3rd week of practice and it was pointed out that we didn’t do a Yellow Jersey after our first week of practice! This is a team tradition that stretches back many years.  At the beginning of each week all the team members vote on a player that was a the team leader the previous week. There is no right or wrong answer — it can be based on tennis performance, effort, academics, and/or leadership.

As I mentioned to the team last night the Yellow Jersey is an incredible honor as it is given by your teammates. Yesterday a number of players received votes — Sam, Matt, Noah, and James. Congratulations to Colton Malesovas for receiving this award from his teammates. Everyone that voted for Colton mentioned his incredible work ethic (not only last week but over the past year and half). It was also pointed out that even though Colton was sick last week he still showed up to practice, conditioning and match play (when he wasn’t in the health center).

If you know or see Colton make sure to congratulate him on receiving the first Yellow Jersey of 2013!