Missionary men’s tennis team falls to Pomona-Pitzer

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CLAREMONT, Calif. — The No. 12 nationally-ranked Whitman men’s tennis team commenced a three-match, southern California road trip Monday afternoon with a 5-4 loss to 16th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer at the Pauley Tennis Complex.

The Sagehens won four hotly contested singles matches on their way to improving their record to 6-3 on the season, 5-3 at home.

Whitman, which dropped just its third match in its last 12 outings, slipped to 9-4.

“It was a great match between two evenly-matched teams,” Whitman coach Jeff Northam said.

The Missionaries posted doubles victories at both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Colton Malesovas and Andrew La Cava rallied from behind for an 8-5 triumph at No. 1, while Andy Riggs and Jake Hoeger teamed up for a No. 2 win, 8-6.

“No. 1 singles was pretty interesting,” Northam said. “Colton and Andrew were down 2-5 and two breaks. At (No.) two, Andy and Jake got a break in the middle of the match and ran with it the rest of the way.”

Steven Roston and James Rivers came close to completing a doubles sweep for the Missionaries, but were nipped at No. 3, 9-7.

La Cava and Roston recorded conquests in second and fourth singles, respectively. La Cava won 6-3, 6-4 and Roston prevailed 6-0, 6-3.

“Andrew and Steven are both playing great tennis,” Northam said. “Steven has been a rock all year and continues to play well. Andrew was his dynamic self in a pretty close match.”

The No. 1, 3, 5 and 6 singles contests could have easily gone in Whitman’s favor. Petar Jivkov (No. 5) and Hoeger (No. 6) came close, but were nosed out in three sets. Jivkov was defeated 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) and Hoeger was decisioned 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Malesovas was edged at No. 1 singles 7-5, 6-4 and Riggs came up short, 7-6 (5), 6-2, at No. 3.

“It was a close match all the way,” Northam said. “We have a lot of positives to take away from the match. Playing them on the road was probably the difference.”

Whitman’s next plays at Whittier this afternoon.

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