CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 4, 2019) – Three members of the 24th-ranked Caltech men's tennis team remain in the main draw of this year's Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III West Regional Championships following an up and down first day of competition.
Junior James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) survived his first two rounds of Flight A singles action after advancing to the second round of the doubles draw with partner and classmate Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow). Wei and Shanker held off Gee and Jackson from the University of California, Santa Cruz, 8-6 and became the first pair of Beavers to taste victory on Friday. The remaining Caltech doubles teams came up short in the first round of the main draw, with the team of sophomore Jake Will (Honolulu, Hawaii / Punahou School) and freshman Rishi Gundakaram (Wyoming, Del. / Caesar Rodney) coming closest in an 8-6 defeat to Berber and Morris of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. Will and Gundakaram, along with the remaining two teams will see consolation doubles matches on Saturday.
Wei led the charge in Flight A singles action with a pair of straight sets wins. The fifth-seeded junior first beat Bernstein of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, 6-1, 6-1, then scored another routine victory against Wilkins of Chapman University, 6-3, 6-1. He is now lined up to face Jack Katzman of CMS, the second-seeded player in Saturday's quarterfinals. Shanker, the tournament's third-seeded player got upset in a tighty contested three-set battle with Morris from CMS, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Senior Connor Soohoo (Redwood Shores, Calif. / Crystal Springs) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Flight B tournament. The senior opened up with a straight-sets win over Anderson from Occidental College, 6-2, 6-4, then turned around to defeat the Sagehens' Skattum, 6-1, 6-4. Soohoo's toughest test will come in the quarterfinals when he takes on fourth-seeded Leahy from Redlands.
Head Coach Jason Cohen and the remaining Beavers will return to Claremont for the second day of ITA's which is set to begin at 9 a.m. with main draw doubles and consolations matches.