PASADENA (Mar. 4, 2019) – The No. 29 Caltech men's tennis team pulled away from visiting Rhodes College on Monday thanks to an impeccable run of singles wins that eventually led to an 8-1 victory for the host Beavers.
Caltech started the day with a 2-1 advantage stemming from doubles matches. Sophomores James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) and Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) took care of business as the region's top-ranked doubles team, winning their match 8-2. Third doubles came down to the wire, however, with senior Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) and freshman Patryk Kozlowski (Irvine, Calif. / University High) pulling out an 8-7 (7-5) win after starting the match down 1-5, facing a 15-40 with the prospect of going down 1-6. The senior/freshman combination battled back, however, winning six of the final eight games to force the decisive tiebreaker and the eventual win that gave the rest of the team the confidence to perform in ensuing singles competition.
Shanker went on to make a statement at first singles where he beat Ritwick Chatterjee, the 38th-ranked player in Division III 6-3, 6-2. Wei similarly beat his opponent at second singles by the inverse score and freshman Matthew Gonzalgo (Plantation, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas) earned the quickest, most dominant win of the Beavers' six singles victories, taking out his opponent, 6-0, 6-0 out of the third spot. Caltech's toughest win of the day belonged the senior Nguyen who dropped a second-set tiebreaker but rebounded in the deciding super tiebreaker 10-3 to complete the singles sweep.
Head Coach Jason Cohen and the Beavers will have ample time to prepare for their next match on Sunday, Mar. 10 when they face off at home with Vassar College, 2 p.m. start time.