PASADENA, Calif. (Apr. 4, 2015) – Sophomores Sathwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) and Morgan Lebby (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Laguna Beach) had a hand in all four Beavers points as the Caltech men's tennis team came up just short in a heartbreaker against West region No. 13 Occidental College on Saturday afternoon.
Sathwick now leads the team with eight singles victories this season, while Lebby paces the squad with two wins in SCIAC play.
Caltech won #1 and #2 doubles to lead 2-1 heading into singles but dropped a pair of third-set matches to fall to 5-7 overall and 0-4 in the SCIAC, while Occidental improves to 6-9 (2-4).
The match was hotly contested right from the start. Sathwick and twin Ruthwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) jumped out to a 5-2 lead at #1 doubles as the Tigers quickly picked up the first point of the match with an 8-2 win at court #3. Lebby and junior Rushikesh Joshi (Sunnyvale, Calif. / Archbishop Mitty) got a break to go up 7-4 at court #2, but the Pathireddys were broken back at #1. Both Beavers pairings held serve from that point, with Lebby and Joshi claiming the equalizing point with an 8-5 win at #2 and the Pathireddys rallying from break point to force a deuce and record the 8-6 victory.
Sathwick and Lebby took their first sets at #3 and #4 singles, respectively, as Oxy went ahead by a set at #1, #2 and #6. Both Beavers kept their momentum going to post crucial victories, Sathwick 6-2, 6-3 and Lebby 6-2, 6-4, to bring Caltech within one match of clinching. Joshi battled well in the second set before falling at #2 (6-1, 7-5) and Oxy continued the rally with the win at #6.
Meanwhile, Ruthwick Pathireddy had battled back from a 6-1 defeat in the first set to just edge out the region's No. 10-ranked player, Josh Dancu, 7-6 to force a third set. Junior Alexander Henny (Scarborough, Maine / Scarborough) accomplished the same at #5, taking his second set, 6-2, after dropping a tight first set, 7-5. The Tigers would take both matches, however, with identical 6-3 scores in the third set to claim the overall victory.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers will take a break from conference play as they host Arizona Christian University (7-13) on Friday, Apr. 10 at 3:00 p.m.