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 […]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…yes its the start of the traditional season! We had a great week first week of practice and big part of the week was the leadership of Andy Riggs. Because of his great effort this week (and the offseason) his teammates gave him the yellow jersey. Way to start off the year Andy!
Andy now needs to work on his sledding form!
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 […]
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!
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 […]
WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Junior Andy Riggs has become the fourth different Whitman men’s tennis player to be tabbed the Northwest Conference Men’s Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week as conference sports information directors voted him the honor after his weekend performance in three matches.
The transfer from Auburn, California went 5-0 in the Missionaries victories over Pacific Lutheran (2 matches) and Puget Sound on the road. In a grueling doubleheader with the Lutes, Riggs was a straight set winner in singles as the Missionaries claimed their 100th straight regular season conference win. In the second team match, Riggs won in both doubles and at No. 1 singles — another straight set victory.
The next morning, Riggs prevailed at No. 1 singles again, this time showing his endurance in a 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 win, and also notched a “W” in doubles as the Whits finished off a perfect 12-0 conference season and claimed the NWC regular season title. The 15th-ranked Missionaries will host the NWC Championships as the No. 1 seed, starting Saturday with a match against No. 4 seed Pacific at 1 pm.
Previous Whitman winners of the NWC weekly honor are Colton Malesovas (So., Austin TX), Steven Roston (Jr., San Carlos, CA) and Sam Sadeghi (Sr., Glendale, CA).
“Its the most wonderful time of the year”…That is what sophomore dynamo James Rivers came to practice today singing. He was literally skipping and dancing across the courts at the start of practice yesterday. One of the points I drive home with the team is the best feeling about tennis is playing..its not winning but playing. James now understands this all too well. Unfortunately for James he was injured the first week of practice and hasn’t been able to hit until yesterday. He got the doctor’s OK to start hitting again and we hope to have him back in the line-up soon. Yes James — indeed it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Time for our weekly tradition of the Yellow Jersey. Several people were nominated this week including James, Sam, and Matt but this week the team selected Andy Riggs. Everyone pointed out the fact that as a transfer student he stepped into a very close team and immediately became a leader on the team. Team members also pointed out how much they enjoy his company and presence on the team. Matt was also very eloquent when he spoke about playing horrible in their doubles match on Saturday and how Andy talked to him on the court, settled him down and got him focused. Congratulations to Andy Riggs!
Also if you coach long enough you probably see most everything. Last night midway through our practice the Police came to the door of the tennis center and told us to leave the building. Apparently someone had reported a small bomb at the building behind the Bratton Tennis Center. Turns out it was a pipe with 4th of July sparklers in it. Hopefully this is […]
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
Beaverton, Ore.- Playing with a sense of purpose after being denied the singles title they coveted, Whitman’s Andrew La Cava (Bellevue, WA) and James Rivers (Honolulu, HA) trounced their way to the USTA/ITA Fall Regional Northwest doubles on Monday with an impressive 6-0, 6-2 victory over teammates Matt Tesmond (Cincinnati, OH) and Andy Riggs(Auburn, CA).
After both Rivers and La Cava got eliminated from singles competition on Sunday morning, they played with frightening intensity in their quarterfinal and semifinal matches, notching a pair of 8-1 victories. Having a night to brood on their singles defeats did nothing to diminish their motivation. With the tournament championship on the line, the two Missionaries swarmed all over the court, pounced on even the best returns from Riggs and Tesmond, crushed any attempt at a defensive lob, and hit explosive returns in a first set that lasted no more than twenty minutes.
Tesmond, a defending champion, and Riggs didn’t go down without a fight, though. After surrendering two early breaks in the first set, they spent the latter part of the set experimenting with different strategies, trying to find something that would allow them to respond in the second. Early in the second, it looked like they might have found an answer. They won the first game of the second set by saving half a dozen break points in a long Riggs service game. After a quick Rivers hold, they fended off another three break points with Tesmond serving, and had chances to seize the game and momentum, but Rivers uncorked two gargantuan backhand returns to earn the break.
Tesmond and Riggs didn’t dwell long on that disappointment, immediately responding by breaking La Cava’s service to level the second set at 2-2. When they jumped out to a […]