PASADENA (Apr. 6, 2019) – The 21st-ranked Caltech men's tennis team put up four wins at California Lutheran University but came up short to the Kingsmen, 5-4, in Friday's SCIAC match.
The Beavers found themselves in a similar situation at the 22nd-ranked University of Redlands last Saturday. Trailing 3-0 following doubles action, Caltech needed to come alive in singles play in order to steal the match. The visiting team responded with four singles wins yet again, but the short-handed Beavers came just short of pulling one over on the Kingsmen. Senior Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow), the third-ranked player in the region led with a 6-4, 6-2, victory at first singles. Junior Miha Valencic (Colleyville, Texas / Grapevine) followed suit with a 6-2, 6-3 win at fourth singles. Caltech proceeded to win the rest of the way down the lineup, with senior Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) getting the 7-5, 7-5, nod at fifth singles while freshman Patryk Kozlowski (Irvine, Calif. / University High) made the most of his opportunity at sixth singles, winning his match, 6-2, 6-1. Playing without sophomore doubles partner James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley), Shanker teamed with Nguyen at first doubles, but came up just shy of the would-be decisive victory, dropping the deciding tiebreaker.
Head Coach Jason Cohen and the Beavers will look to bounce back with Occidental College on Saturday at 10 a.m. for Faculty Appreciation Day. Caltech is now 0-2 in SCIAC play, though still poised to continue its pursuit of the conference playoffs.