POMONA, Calif. - A promising start in doubles turned sour in singles as the Whitman College men's tennis team dropped a 6-3 decision to the University of Texas-Tyler on Monday in a spring break match in Pomona, Calif.
Whitman, ranked No. 6 in the West Region of NCAA Division III, seized an early 2-1 lead by winning two of three matches in doubles.
The two sides then split the first two decisions in singles, pushing Whitman's lead to 3-2 in the team scoring.
Whitman players won the first set in two of the four remaining matches, but by the time the dust settled, Texas-Tyler was a narrow winner in all four matches to snare the 6-3 upset.
Texas-Tyler, ranked No. 8 in the West Region, improved to 10-4 on the season.
"Tennis certainly has its ups and downs," Whitman coach Jeff Northam said. "On Saturday we defeated the No. 9 team in the nation and today we lost to a lower-ranked UT-Tyler. I don't feel like we had a letdown but rather got out-played by a feisty UT-Tyler team."
In one of the first singles matches to finish, Whitman senior Etienne Moshevich rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Adam Chirhart in the No. 3 slot.
But Texas-Tyler countered at No. 4 singles, where Kevin Wright downed sophomore Jeff Tolman 6-1, 6-1.
Of the four remaining matches in singles, three went to three sets. In the other match, Whitman junior Adriel Borshansky lost a razor-thin 7-6, 7-6 decision to Kevin Singer at No. 6 singles.
At No. 1 singles, Joshua Chavez scrambled past Whitman junior Conor Holton-Burke 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Henrique Bellini got the win at No. 2 singles, beating sophomore Andrew La Cava 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Texas-Tyler's Kevin Singer rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over senior Chris Bailey at No. 5 singles.
Whitman's strong start in doubles included a victory at No. 1, where Holton-Burke and La Cava beat Chavez and Andrew Reznik 8-4. Senior Quin Miller and sophomore Matt Tesmond won by the same score at No. 3, downing Wright and Singer.
Whitman, now 2-2 on its spring break trip to California, plays Bowdoin today in Claremont.
Bowdoin, a perennial NCAA Division III power in New England, began March with a No. 15 national ranking. Whitman is ranked No. 19 nationally.
Texas-Tyler 6, Whitman 3
SINGLES - Joshua Chavez, Tyler, def Conor Holton-Burke, Whit, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2; Henrique Bellini, Tyler, def Andrew La Cava, Whit, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4; Etienne Moshevich, Whit, def Adam Chirhart, Tyler, 6-4, 6-1; Kevin Wright, Tyler, def Jeff Tolman, Whit, 6-1, 6-1; Kevin Singer, Tyler, def Chris Bailey, Whit, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Chayce Stone, Tyler, def Adril Borshansky, Whit, 7-6, 7-6.
DOUBLES - Holton-Burke/La Cava, Whit, def Chavez/Reznik, Tyler, 8-4; Bellini/Chirhart, Tyler, def Moshevich/Tolman, Whit, 8-1; Tesmond/Miller, Whit, def Wright/Singer, Tyler, 8-4.