Photo by Ellen Friedlander
PASADENA, Calif. (Mar. 31, 2016) – Caltech men's tennis swept a regional matchup against Pacific Lutheran University, 9-0, on Thursday afternoon just hours after being ranked a program-record No. 12 in the ITA West Region Rankings.
Caltech is now 6-1 against unranked NCAA opponents and 7-5 overall this season, including a 5-4 mark in regional play.
The Beavers took a couple games to really get going but soon led by a break at all three doubles courts and closed them out decisively, 8-4, 8-4 and 8-2. Juniors Ruthwick Pathireddy (Cerritos, Calif. / Whitney) and Ramsathwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) quickly clinched the match for Caltech with wins at #2 (6-1, 6-0) and #6 (6-1, 6-2). Following wins at #4 and #1, freshman Andre Liu (Novi, Mich. / Novi) claimed a hard-fought victory at #5 (7-5, 6-2), leaving just freshman Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) heading into a superbreaker at #3, the highest court at which he has played this season. The rookie had overcome a cautious start in his first singles match back from injury to dominate the second set and gained the upper hand early in the breaker. The opponents traded points the whole way until Nguyen finally served for match point, which he took on the first try to complete the sweep with the 3-6, 6-1, 10-8 win.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers finally return to SCIAC play at Occidental College (0-11, 0-3) on Saturday, Apr. 2.