All Missionaries in regional men’s tennis finals

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WALLA WALLA – The second day of the USTA/ITA Regional Tennis Championships saw four Whitman Missionaries advance to the semifinals in singles and two Whitman doubles teams make the doubles finals, set for this morning.

Inclement weather forced some of the matches inside Sunday.

In singles, one semifinal today pitted veteran Steven Roston against newcomer Peter Jivkov, who has made it to the Final Four from Friday’s qualifying rounds where he had to win a match to advance to the round of 64.

The other semi has two All-Americans, Andrew La Cava and James Rivers, square off.

Jivkov advanced by defeating teammate Will Huskey ,6-4, 7-5, under cloudy skies at the new Whitman outdoor courts facility. All of Sunday’s singles matches were, save for the first four, played outside, while rain forced most of the double matches inside at the Bratton Indoor Tennis Center.

Roston defeated Michael Brewer of Lewis & Clark, winning a tough first set 7-5 before cruising in the second 6-0.

Rivers had to go three sets against Chris Lilly of George Fox 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Rivers, who missed almost all of the spring season with an injury, also, had to qualify for the field of 64. His opponent today, La Cava, battled Giancario Battaglia to a 7-5 victory in the first set of their quarterfinal before capturing the second set 6-2.

The doubles semifinals Sunday night matched Whitman’s La Cava and Rivers against George Fox’s Lilly and Justin McClain in one match and Andy Riggs and Roston of Whitman against Battaglia and Troy Zuroske of Pacific University in the other.

La Cava and Rivers earned a break midway through the match and stayed on-serve to take a 6-3 lead, easing their way to an 8-4 victory. Riggs and Roston were down, 2-3, early before breaking back and winning 8-6

Whitman has won the singles title every year since 2007 and the doubles regional title every year since then, save for once.

The champions who are crowned today receive an automatic berth to the USTA/ITA Small College Championships, taking place the second week of October in Florida, and All-America status.

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