LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Apr. 2, 2016) – Freshman Andre Liu (Novi, Mich. / Novi) recorded his eighth straight singles win and is already just one victory shy of the single-season Caltech men's tennis record after the Beavers' 8-1 victory over Occidental College on Saturday.
The Beavers, ranked a program-best No. 12 in the West Region last week, improve to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the SCIAC. The squad is now 7-1 against unranked NCAA opponents and 6-4 in regional play this season.
Caltech opened the match with quick victories at both #2 and #3 doubles, but the host Tigers defended #1 doubles ferociously, taking the Beavers to a tiebreak and escaping with the win to halve the deficit going into singles.
The Beavers took the first set in five singles matches, with only senior Rushikesh Joshi (Sunnyvale, Calif. / Archbishop Mitty) dropping the first at #1 in a 7-4 tiebreak. The veteran came roaring back with a dominant 6-1 win in the second set, but Oxy forced a superbreaker at #2 after a narrow first-set win for junior Ruthwick Pathireddy (Cerritos, Calif. / Whitney) as well.
Meanwhile, Caltech clinched the match with straight-set victories at the bottom four courts, including freshman Zixiao Li (Coppell, Texas / Coppell) posting his fourth win in five matches at #4 with a 6-0, 6-0 score. Liu and junior Ramsathwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) won their eighth and fifth straight matches, respectively, at #5 and #6 to clinch. Freshman Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) soon followed with a 6-4, 6-2 edge for his second win in as many chances at #3.
The superbreakers at #1 and #2 would both break Caltech's way, with Joshi giving up just a single point in the 10-1 victory and Ruthwick earning his seventh straight win in a hard-fought 12-10 breaker over Oxy's most successful player this season, Cameron Coe.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers head to No. 10 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (10-8, 2-1) on Saturday, Apr. 9.