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 […]

Season Ends in ST Louis

All good things must come to end and unfortunately for us it ended a bit too early. On Saturday we were defeated by a very competitive UW – Whitewater team 5-2. We knew going into the match we were going to have a tough match. Unfortunately the match was a bit too competitive and the Whitewater team took an early lead and never looked back.

Over the weekend the weather in St Louis was cold and rainy forcing indoor play. Even though we have plenty of experience playing indoors, I think the move was more a benefit to the big serving Whitewater team. In doubles they were able to control the momentum of the matches with big serves and returns. At #1 doubles Andrew/Conor lost to one of the top teams in the central region 8-5. As a side note the Whitewater duo will be playing in the NCAA doubles championship next week. At #2 doubles ET/Jeff played their usual solid doubles to tie the match at 1-1. At #3 doubles we were broke in the 3rd game of the match and the Whitewater team served their way to an 8-6 win (they were never broken). (more…)

Great come behind victory on Mother’s Day

This year I tweaked our schedule a bit and scheduled the always tough LCSC Warriors the weekend before the NCAA’s. The NWC conference tournament is one of the earliest in DIII and the past few years I felt the 4-week break hurt us in the NCAA’s.
After the conference tournament this year we upped our playing intensity and training. Its been a grueling three-week stretch but the extra playing and training should get us ready for the NCAA’s. Unfortunately finals start this week so the guys have been doing double duty — training hard and studying hard.
Our hard work paid off in a big way today as we knocked off LCSC (#19 in NAIA) 6-3. One of our first matches this year was in Lewiston against the Warriors and they thumped us 6-3. In that match they swept the doubles and grabbed 4, 5, and 6 singles in straight sets. Our only victories in that meeting were hard fought three-set victories at #1, #2, and #3.
Today we started off a bit better in doubles with Matt and Quin posting a 8-5 victory at #3. I’m really impressed with how Matt and Quin have shook off a rough spring break trip and are now playing their best doubles. Unfortunately we dropped #1 (Andrew and Conor ) 8-6 and #2 (Jeff and ET) 8-5. In both of those matches we were up breaks but LCSC upped their games to come behind to claim both matches.
After the doubles I was a bit worried about our energy level. Everyone looked tired — not physically tired but mentally drained. Even though we faired better in doubles that our first meeting we were still down 1-2 and facing a very talented […]

What a day!

I have to admit the NWC championship match Sunday was something special. Really a special ending (well almost ending) to a special season. What made the day so memorably was the crowd and unbelievable support from the Whitman community. Let me start by saying I (and the team) feels incredibly fortunate to have our outdoor courts. Yes there are much bigger and fancier courts across the nation. But I have never seen courts with a better location that the Whitman courts. Our courts are right in the center of campus — next to the library, administration building, and the big campus quad called Ankey field. We are very lucky to practice and play in the middle of campus.

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Team takes big strides to clinching 4th straight NWC title.

This past weekend was a special and unique coaching weekend. Yes the team went 3-0 and moved one step closer to one of our goals of winning the NWC title. But more interesting was that my 8 year old daughter made the road trip with the team to Portland. I honestly can’t remember seeing her so excited (with the exception of Christmas). All week all she could talk about was going on a trip with the team. When I woke her up Friday morning she jumped out of bed and rushed upstairs to start her morning because it was the big day. Was a lot of fun watching the team interact with her — she had 12 big brothers who were willing to playing catch, run around after her, and/or carrying her around. It was a weekend she will remember for a long time!
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Hooray for ET!

Etienne was recently named the NWC player of the week for the past two consecutive weeks. Great honour for a player to win the award twice in a season little alone twice in row.

ET certainly deserved the awards. During our 6 day spring break trip he went 8-4 in singles and doubles against the top teams in the nation. Beyond his great playing on court, ET is a amazing team leader. The “lion” has shown everyone on the team how to play with a passion and love of the game. His presence, passion and energy has been a driving force behind our successes this season.

Wrapping up spring break

Sorry for the delay in posting but between practices, matches, driving and dinners we have had a couple long days.

Tuesday we dropped a competitive 3-6 match to #15 Bowdoin on the CMS courts. We got off to a bit of a rough start in doubles. Even though Jeff/ET won easily at #2 doubles we dropped #1 (Conor/Andrew) 8-5, and the #3 team of Quin/Matt let a 6-3 lead evaporate and lost 6-8.

Bowdoin is known as a good singles team and they lived up to their billing winning 4 of the 6 singles. Our only wins were Jeff at #4 and Adriel at #6. The entire team certainly gave a great effort but we really needed to have the lead after doubles to crack the tough Bowdoin singles line-up. After the match I felt we were in a pretty good place emotionally, but physically we looked tired. This was, after all, our 5th match in 5 days against nationally ranked opponents. The intense matches, heat, travel, and fierce competition was taking its toll. At this point I was already worried about our Wednesday regional match at Cal Lutheran.

For the Cal Lutheran match I pulled Chris (he had been struggling) and decided to switch ET and Andrew (ET has been playing incredibly well). Against Cal Lutheran (#12 in nation) we not only got off to a bad start in doubles but a very low energy start. Number three doubles played horrible losing 8-1 and #1 doubles didn’t fair much better losing 8-2. This left the doubles in the hands of Jeff/ET at #2 doubles. Losing #2 doubles would of not only put us down 0-3 but would of sucked the energy out of the tired Whitties. […]

Ah the ups and downs of tennis

Tennis certainly has its ups and downs. On Saturday we defeated the #9 team in the nation and today we lost to a lower ranked UT Tyler 3-6. As a team we knew the importance of the match today — winning would lock us in as one of the top teams in the West. I don’t feel like we had a let down but rather got out played by a feisty UT Tyler team.

In doubles two of the three team teams came out firing. I don’t have the scores in front me but I think we won at #1 and #3 by identical 8-4 scores. Unfortunately #2 doubles had their worst match of the year losing 1-8. Still going up 2-1 after doubles certainly put us in the driver seat.

In singles Tyler was simply too tough for us. Not sure how else to say it but we didn’t perform like we would like to in clutch situations. For the most part we didn’t play poorly, but rather didn’t play well at certain times of the matches. We lost three three-set matches and one match 7-6, 7-6. However this is exactly why we take a spring break trip: the opportunity to play good teams which not only makes us better players but a tighter team. Honestly in all of my years coaching this is one of my favorite teams (sorry alums). They have pushed each other all year to get better, incredibly supportive of each other, and a blast to be around. I’m sure today’s experience will make us a better team down the road.

Here are the singles scores (again I don’t have my score book in front of me so its a bit of […]

Whitties knock of #9 Trinity!

What a special day for Whitman tennis! Today in the Stag-Hen we had the opportunity to play Trinity University (#9 in the nation) for 5th/6th place. Trinity is one of the great programs in DIII and they typically make a good run at the NCAA’s.

Going into the match we knew doubles was critical. On any given day Trinity might have the top 1, 2, 3 doubles line-up in the nation. In fact their #1 team of Cocanoughar/Kowel were the runner-ups at the 2010 NCAA doubles championships. Honestly they don’t drop much from one to three doubles. It is funny how scheduling goes — in the fall Andrew/Conor had the opportunity to play the #1 Trinity Team at the ITA Small College Championships. The Trinity duo ended up winning that match 6-7, 7-6, 10-6. Going into today’s match Andrew/Conor knew they had their hands full, but they also knew they could compete with and beat the TU team. Perhaps more importantly they were hungry for a rematch. (more…)

Spring Break Day One

First off I apologize for shortness of this post. It has been a long couple days and we have an early match tomorrow morning.

Thursday we left campus at 9am for the trek to Southern CA. Academically it is tough to miss the last day before spring break — lots of tests and papers are typically due before break. In fact I know last night several of the guys were up to the wee hours of the morning working on papers.

Today was the first day of the Stag-Hen tournament hosted at the campuses of Claremont and Pomona. This is one of the top DIII tournaments of the year. This year the 8 team tournament is loaded with four top 10 teams. This morning we started off the tournament against the #7 team in the nation Kenyon. We had been looking forward to this match for weeks: it isn’t often we get the opportunity to play a top 10 team on a neutral surface. (more…)