Fall Milestones

Couple major milestones from the fall.

Congratulations to Zach Hewlin and Jake Hoeger for earning a spot on the 2015 All-American team! By virtue of winning a regional event Zach will be an All-American in both Singles & Doubles and  Jake will be All-American in Doubles! Way to go both of you!

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James Rivers welcome to the Century Club! Even though James lost most of last year due to a shoulder injury he still managed to reach the 100 milestone this fall. His banner now hangs in the Bratton Tennis Center.

By |October 23rd, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

PNW/ITA Tournament

If these seems out of order remember I’m working backwards on the fall recaps.

We hosted the PNW/ITA Sept 20-22 and it’s been nearly a month since the tournament so many of details are a bit fuzzy around the edges.

I do remember having perfect weather for the tournament. It did get a bit warm over the weekend: with high temperatures climbing into the 90’s it was well over 100 on the court. This was also the largest and most competitive PNW/ITA tournament in many years. Normally the tournament is a draw of 64 with a few qualifying matches. This year we had almost 40 players in the qualifying draw! Some players had to play a whopping 5 matches (between singles and doubles) just to make it into the main draw.

Speaking of qualifying I think it was the first time EVER we managed to get 8 doubles teams into the main draw. We had 4 guaranteed main draw spots and our other 4 teams swept the qualifying taking all four available spots – Gary/Phillip won 8-3 & 8-0, Jacob/Trevor won 8-4 & 8-4, Adam/Alex won 8-5 & 8-3, and Joey/Luke won 8-0, 9-8.

In singles qualifying we managed to get 6 of the 8 qualifying spots. Lots of great efforts in the Friday qualifying but freshman Luke Targett certainly impressed winning 3 singles matches. His last singles went the distance as he won 11-9 in the 3rd set match breaker.

Other singles qualifiers included Phillip (won 2 matches), Joey (won 2 matches), James (won 2 matches), Parker (won 2 matches), and Jake (won 2 matches).

Shows the depth of our team as we went 19-2 in qualifying matches!

In the main draw we had some really tough match ups. Many […]

Off to Boise!

The weekend of Oct 3-5 we had a bit of an impromptu trip to Boise State University for the Dar Walters Classic. Six players – Colton,James, Phillip, Petar, Parker and Adam loaded up Thursday after classes and headed out to my old stomping grounds in Boise (I was the assistant at Boise State many years ago).

This turned out to be a fantastic and fun event. Weather was incredible all weekend and the venues were spectacular – Appleton Tennis Center, Julia Davis Park, and the Boas Bubble (well the bubble wasn’t all that special – who really likes to play in a bubble). I also loved how Coach Patton and Coach Shields set up the draw. They had 5 different flights of 16 players and ran a compass draw in every flight. Was a wonderful opportunity for all the players to get in 4 singles matches against D1 opponents. Was awesome to see how much everyone improved over the weekend. I’m blessed to have a talented and competitive team and the level of their games improved each day.

Oh, must note that all the matches played no-add scoring and used the D1 let rule on serves.

Here is the breakdown of each flight.

Colton A Flight: really good stuff from Colton this tournament. He went toe-to-toe with the top players from each school. Two of his matches were close 3 setters and the other match he lost was incredibly close – in fact I think in his first match he lost 6 out of 7 no add games.

1st match lost Dennis Baumgartner (Utah State) 6-4, 6-2. Baumgartner made the finals

2nd match Lost Mathieu Garcia (U of Portland) 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2

3rd match Lost Todd Fought (Weber State) 4-6, […]

By |October 21st, 2014|2014-2015 season|0 Comments

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 […]

A Wilderness Retreat

With the school calendar being pushed back a week everything this season seems very rushed. In past year’s I’ve always enjoyed taking the team on a backpacking or camping trip. However since we just finished our regional ITA tournament I felt it might be better to do a wilderness “retreat” vs a full-blown backpacking trip. The college owns a special wilderness area about 17 miles from campus that includes classroom space, 2 houses and numerous small cabins. Best of all its far enough into the mountains that cell phone signals don’t work!

My plan was get to the Wilderness Campus in the early evening so players could study a bit and then hang out in the evening. Unfortunately even the best plans sometimes go astray. One of the freshman who won’t be named *cough cough Parker cough cough* decided to show up an hour late for our trip. By the time we got up the Wilderness Campus it was already dark and time for dinner.

Since I knew I didn’t want to cook that night I spent most of the day cooking 2 pork shoulders to make pulled pork sandwiches (a team favorite).  I was actually surprised the guys almost completely demolished two full shoulders of pork (it’s a lot of meat!).

After dinner a few guys studied while others started into Settlers of Catan. And James decided to hit a sofa and go to sleep at 8pm. Who can blame him — cool mountain air coupled with the sound of nearby Mill Creek is enough to make anyone drift off to sleep. I shouldn’t give James too much grief since I was asleep only an hour after him.

Since the guys had destroyed the entire pulled pork I […]

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

James Rivers gets the yellow jersey

This week again had a lot of nominations for the yellow jersey — Steven, Andrew, Nasko, Jake, and Petar, but James gets the yellow jersey for the week. Way to go James!