FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Whitman College finished a long yet impressive day of men's tennis with a 5-4 victory over Michigan's Kalamazoo College in a Saturday afternoon neutral-court match. Earlier in the day, the Missionaries beat Rhodes, 6-3.
Rhodes, ranked No. 23 in the NCAA Division III preseason poll, took the early lead with victories at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles.
Whitman, ranked No. 29, salvaged its team point in doubles at No. 2, where junior Jeff Tolman and sophomore Andrew La Cava won 8-3.
The match resumed with players taking the court in the top three singles slots, and Whitman evened the score at 3-3 by taking two of three decisions.
Tolman won at No. 2 singles while senior Conor Holton-Burke was a three-set winner at No. 3. La Cava fell a bit short at No. 3, losing 7-5 in the third.
In the lower half of the singles bracket that followed, freshman James Rivers made it 4-3 Whitman with a 6-3, 6-3 victory at the No. 4 spot. Junior Sam Sadeghi then tallied the clinching fifth team point at No. 5 with a 6-2, 6-3 win.
Senior Adriel Borshansky topped off the Whitman triumph by winning No. 6 singles.
Kalamazoo, a perennially strong NCAA Division III tennis program, is not ranked nationally at the moment and is off to an 0-4 start, but one of those losses was a 5-4 setback to No. 11 Chicago.
Whitman got the early jump in doubles, winning in the No. 2 and No. 3 slots for a 2-1 lead in the team scoring.
Whitman extended its lead to 4-2 by taking two of the first three decisions in singles. Sophomore Andrew La Cava was a winner at No. 1 singles, and freshman James Rivers shook off leg cramps at No. 3 to win his deciding third set by a 6-2 count.
Winning for Whitman in doubles were La Cava and junior Jeff Tolman at No. 2 and Rivers and junior Sam Sadeghi at No. 3.
With the team result decided, sophomore Steven Roston lost his match at No. 6 singles by a 10-7 third-set tie-breaker.
Whitman completes its quick East Coast swing on Sunday morning against No. 22 Mary Washington.
Win or lose on Sunday, Whitman is poised to move up the national rankings in early March. It also has a 6-3 early win to its credit over No. 6 UC-Santa Cruz.