SPOKANE -- For seven seniors on the Whitman College men's tennis team, Sunday's two Northwest Conference victories over Whitworth in Spokane are triumphs to be cherished.
By beating the Pirates 8-1 in the afternoon (after rolling over their hosts 9-0 in the morning), Whitman put the finishing touch on its fourth consecutive 16-0 NWC regular season.
That accomplishment makes seniors Matt Solomon, Christoph Fuchs, Jake Cappel, Jasper Follows, Nadeem Kassam, Thomas Roston and David Deming the first class of tennis players in school history to sail through four years without losing a single regular season decision to a conference opponent.
Counting two victories at the end of the 2006 regular season, Whitman has won its last 66 matches against NWC teams.
Ranked No. 21 nationally in NCAA Division III, Whitman takes an 18-4 season record and the top seed into this week's conference tournament.
The winner of that tournament, set for Friday and Saturday at the Yakima Tennis Club, gets an automatic berth in the national championship field.
Whitman, winner of the last three NWC titles, has advanced to the last four national championship tournaments.
With a deep and talented roster, Whitman rested key players on Sunday. Fuchs, Kassam and Roston, in fact, were the only seniors to play in the afternoon match.
Kassam, sidelined by injury for much of the season, teamed with freshman Jeff Tolman for an 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles. While Kassam came back at No. 4 singles to win 6-4, 6-4, Tolman stepped into the No. 1 slot normally filled by Solomon, winning 2-6, 6-1, 7-6.
Fuchs joined junior Quin Miller for an 8-6 victory at No. 2 doubles but then sat out singles. Miller played No. 6 in singles, winning 6-3, 6-1 to score the clinching fifth team point.
Roston and sophomore Conor Holton-Burke completed the early sweep in doubles with a quick 8-1 win at No. 3. Roston also wasn't in the singles line-up, but Holton-Burke notched a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 3.
Freshman Sam Sadeghi picked up Whitman's eighth team point with a 7-6, 6-4 win at No. 5 singles.
Whitworth salvaged its lone team point at No. 2 singles, where junior Chris Bailey dropped a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 decision.
Both sides juggled their lineups a bit in Sunday morning's match, Whitman seized immediate control with victories in the opening matches in doubles.
Posting 8-2 victories for Whitman were senior Christoph Fuchs and junior Quin Miller at No. 1 doubles and senior Nadeem Kassam and freshman Jeff Tolman at No. 2.
Senior Thomas Roston and sophomore Conor Holton-Burke won 8-3 at No. 3 doubles.
Junior Chris Bailey and sophomore Adriel Borshanksy then led the onslaught in singles. Bailey won 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 while Borshansky cruised 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.
Other straight-set winners in singles were Roston at No. 3, Miller at No. 4, senior David Deming at No. 5 and freshman Matt Tesmond at No. 6.
Whitman 8, Whitworth 1
SINGLES -- Jeff Tolman, Whitman, def. Michael Shelton, Whitworth, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6; Colin Zalewski, Whitworth, def. Chris Bailey, Whitman, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5; Conor Holton-Burke, Whitman, def. Cameron Williams, Whitworth, 6-2, 6-3; Nadeem Kassam, Whitman, def. Joe Wales, Whitworth, 6-4, 6-4; Sam Sadeghi, Whitman, def. Henry Williams, Whitworth, 7-6, 6-4; Quin Miller, Whitman, def. Colin Barrett, Whitworth, 6-3, 6-1.
DOUBLES -- Tolman-Kassam, Whitman, def. Shelton-Zalewski, Whitworth, 8-5; Fuchs-Miller, Whitman, def. Wales-Williams, Whitworth, 8-6; Roston-Holton-Burke, Whitman, def. Williams-Barrett, Whitworth, 8-1.
Whitman 9, Whitworth 0
SINGLES -- Chris Bailey, Whitman, def. Blaine Massey, Whitworth, 6-3, 6-0; Adriel Borshanksy, Whitman, def. Chase Talbot, Whitworth,6-1, 6-0; William Roston, Whitman, def Ben Hamming, Whitworth, 6-3, 6-1; Quin Miller, Whitman, def. Micah Spaun, Whitworth,6-2, 6-1; David Deming, Whitman, def. Brian Lays, Whitworth, 6-4, 6-; Matt Tesmond, Whitman, def. Phil Aldridge, Whitworth, 6-4, 6-1.
DOUBLES -- Fuchs-Miller, Whitman, def. Ben Hamming-Michah Spaun, Whitworht, 8-2; Tolman-Kassam, Whitman, def. Massey-Abelar, Whitworth, 8-2; Roston-Holton-Burke, Whitman, def. Talbot-Aldridge, Whitworth, 8-3.