LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (Mar. 12, 2018) – Freshman Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) has been named SCIAC Athlete of the Week for the first time and is the first Caltech men's player to have earned the recognition since junior Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) was recognized last April.
Shanker capitalized on some of his best tennis since joining the team and went a perfect 4-for-4 against two non-conference foes this week. The rookie started the week off right by helping the host Beavers knock off No. 30, Christopher Newport University, 6-3, with his singles match being the decisive blow. Down a set, the freshman fought back in the second (7-5) before handily winning the third set, 6-3, to secure a victory over the nation's 36th-ranked player. Shanker had an easier go of things against Vasser College at Indian Wells this past Sunday, winning 6-3, 6-2 over Vassar's top singles player. The freshman helped his case with two decisive victories alongside freshman doubles partner James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) against both the Captains and the Brewers. The duo are now 4-3 when playing together.
Shanker and the Beavers will head to the southwest later this week for two matches, the first of which will occur at No. 26 University of Texas-Tyler on Sunday, Mar. 18.