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 […]

Sam nabs yellow jersey

Congratulations to senior Sam Sadeghi for being given the yellow jersey for the week!

Sadeghi named player of the week (last week)

Sorry this a week late. It was posted on the Whitman webpage but I never put it up on the blog.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Coming off a 4-0 performance this past week, Whitman’s Sam Sadeghi has been named the Northwest Conference Men’s Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week. The senior from Glendale, California played an integral role in the Missionaries two conference victories over Whitworth and Pacific.

On the road at Whitworth, Sadeghi won a grueling doubles match at the No. 1 spot with partner Matt Tesmond 9-8 (11-9) before coming right back to win his singles match at No. 3 in straight sets — surrendering nary one game, 6-0, 6-0.

Two days later at home, Sadeghi and Tesmond were pressed again at No. 1 doubles, and again, prevailed 8-6. The durable Sadeghi, then, took the court again and won in straight sets at No. 3, downing Allen Suklje 6-1, 6-2.

With the victories over the Pirates and the Boxers, the 13th ranked Missionaries improved their NWC mark to 9-0 and with two matches remaining in the conference season, sit in the driver’s seat to win the regular season title and host the conference tournament April 19-21.

Sadeghi joins teammates Colton Malesovas (So., Austin, TX) and Steven Roston (Jr., San Carlos, CA) as NWC Student-Athlete winners this spring season. In addition to being a key contributor to the tennis team, the economics major also serves as the student government’s finance chair and as a member of the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, to name just a few of his extracurricular activities.

NWC Tournament Champions!

Over the weekend we capped off a perfect NWC season by sweeping the NWC Mens Tennis Tournament without a dropping a set. On Saturday we defeated Whitworth 5-0 and on Sunday in front of a large boisterous crowd we defeated George Fox 5-0. The victory over Fox was especially sweet for the team as earlier in the year we defeated Fox 6-3 and were down 1-2 after the doubles. Yesterday we knew it would be key to get off to a fast start and enter the singles with a lead. At #3 doubles James Rivers and Sam Sadeghi came out on fire and put us on the board first with a quick 8-1 victory. This was especially gratifying for Sam and James as earlier in the year they lost to the same doubles team 8-1. At #2 doubles Jeff Tolman and Andrew La Cava started slow and were down a break at 3-4 before winning the next 5 games. And at #1 Conor Holton-Burke and Matt Tesmond gave us a sweep of the doubles with a solid 8-5 victory. This was the same team that beat them 8-5 earlier in the year.

In singles Jeff got off to a slow start going down 0-2 (and down break points) before finding his rhythm and winning 11 straight games! His 6-2, 6-1 victory not only put us up 4-0 but was his 100 career victory — welcome to the Century Club! Senior Conor Holton-Burke sealed the match for us with a wonderful 6-2, 6-0 match. Earlier in the year Conor lost to the same opponent in three sets. What a sweet day for the senior– his match seals the the NWC tournament and he defeats they only NWC […]

Wow what a match — Whitties Defeat #22 Mary Washington

Sorry for the delay in getting to this post but the past couple days have been a whirlwind. After a long day of travel we are safely back on campus and ready for classes. All the guys on the team should be ready for early classes this week — after a week of trying to set our biologic clocks to east coast time and spending a few days on the east coast everyone should be wide awake early this morning! This past week has given me an appreciation for athletes that constantly travel across time zones and are able to maintain a peak level of performance.

On Sunday we started our match against Mary Washington at 11:30am. I’m sure the extra couple hours of sleep and playing at more “normal” time had something to do with our high level of  play. Even though we spent the previous week practicing at 6:30am in hopes of getting a head start on the time change it wasn’t quite the same as being up early to eat breakfast, warm-up and starting matches at 6am (pacific time).  On Saturday we started our day at 3:45am pacific time!

I believe during the Mary Washington match I tweeted “the match was awesome” and it was an awesome match. In fact several times Coach Todd Hebling and I would meet between courts and chat about the high level and intensity of the play. This is the type of match I would love to play every week– great play, physical points, outcome in doubt and each player/team making each other better.

Doubles was a close affair up and down the line-up. Fortunately for us at #1 Conor and Matt finally found their groove midway through the pro-set […]

Whitties defeat #6 Santa Cruz 6-3

Apologies for typos and grammatically errors with this post. As I write this post its almost 1am and its been a long day. First off big thanks to the 100’s of students who came out to watch the match. Playing in front of such a large crowd doesn’t happen often in tennis and it is experience that we will all savor for years to come.

In doubles we came out strong in all three doubles, but the play of Conor/Matt at #1 was special. How special..they defeated a very good #1 team from Santa Cruz 8-1! Number 2 and 3 were both close with Whitties taking early breaks in both matches only to have Santa Cruz break back. At #2 Jeff and Andrew came back from a late break to reel off 3 straight game to take the match 8-6. At #3 freshman James Rivers and junior Sam Sadeghi traded breaks back and forth with the Cruz team — James and Sam both returned great and I think they have break points in every game but one. In the end they broke to clinch the doubles sweep 9-7.

Before the singles we had a team meeting discussing how important it was to play with confidence and to expect a major battle. UC Santa Cruz has one of the finest traditions in DIII and we all knew they were going to compete hard. One thing I must add that we have had some terrific playing opportunities the past 5-6 years (for example the NCAA’s, Stag-Hen and great spring breaks) and those opportunities have let us gain valuable experience as a program. These lessons are passed down from player to player and indeed year to year. Its really […]

Big step forward

Yesterday we played DI Eastern Washington University on their home courts. For the record let me say that this is not an easy place to play. Its a big multi-purpose, box like facility, with very quick courts. Interestingly the Seattle U women were scheduled to play EWU Saturday night in Cheney but refused to play in the fieldhouse so that match was moved to a club in nearby Spokane!

The final score shows EWU getting the better of us 5-2. However this was one close match! It was nip and tuck the whole match. At one point in the doubles, I was thinking we might sweep all three of the doubles. However the sweep was not to be as Conor/Matt got broke the last game to drop their match 8-6 (#1 doubles). At #2 doubles Andrew/James went up breaks two different times and ended up closing out their match 8-6. Since we played DI rules (1 point for the majority of the doubles) the doubles point came down to #3. At #3 Steven and Colton played wonderful tennis. In fact at different spots in the match they both ended up serving for win. They also had a match point while returning. Kudos to the EWU team — when they were down (and what looked like out) they played their best tennis  and earned a tough 9-8 victory.

I’m incredibly proud of the effort and intensity the team showed the entire match. Great support up and down the line-up and all the guys hustled and competed the entire match. You know it’s a special effort when the opposing coach comes into our team post-match conversation to compliment our effort!

In singles Andrew had a great win at #1 defeating […]

Season Preview

News Release Date:

Monday, January 2, 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — The Whitman College men’s tennis team gets an early jump next week on pursuit of its fifth straight conference championship.

While the rest of the Northwest continues its shiver through the dead of winter, coach Jeff Northam and 11 of his players are ticketed for a week (Jan. 7-14) of training and matches in Hawaii.

“The NCAA exemption allows us to take a trip before the next semester starts, and we’re taking advantage of that,” Northam says.

“This will be the earliest we’ve started our spring season in my time at Whitman,” he adds. “It’s a great opportunity for a good week of training before classes get started again.”

Matches slated thus far pit Whitman against two NCAA Division II teams, Hawaii-Pacific and BYU-Hawaii. Northam also hopes to schedule at least one more match.

“This trip is a testament to the great alumni support our program receives,” Northam says. “That support makes a huge difference in keeping these trips affordable and providing a great experience for our student athletes.

“One of our freshmen (James Rivers) is from Hawaii, and his family is also giving us a place to stay for the week.”

Sam Sadeghi, a junior, is the only player unable to make the trip. He plans to spend the week studying for his Medical School Admission Test (MCAT). (more…)

Happy Birthday!

Kind of a bummer to have a birthday on the first day of finals. Helps when a thoughtful mom and dad provide cinnamon rolls and cookies for a study break. Even better to share that study break with members of your tennis family! Happy Birthday Colton!
Click the picture below to open the picture gallery



A Camping We Shall Go..

It is that time of the year for one of the team’s more valued traditions — our annual camping trip. I started this event a few years ago to share my love of the outdoors with my team. In doing so, everyone on the team has  realized what a great opportunity the trip is get to know each other and hang out without the distractions of cell phones, computers, TV, etc. (more…)