CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2019) – Juniors Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) and James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) are headed to the ITA Cup for a second-consecutive year after reaching the men's doubles finals at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III West Regional Championships.
After surviving a pair of Saturday nail biters, the third-year Beavers took care of business against Comadena and Madabhushi of Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, 8-5, in the semifinals to seal a place in the championship match against top-seeded Cummins and Libao of the University of Redlands in the afternoon. Shanker and Wei held their own against Redlands' top pairing but ultimately fell short of a championship repeat, 6-2, 6-4. This year marks the second year in a row Caltech's top doubles pairing, the most decorated in school history, has made the regional doubles final. With west regionals behind them, the pair will take the court again at the 2019 ITA Cup, scheduled to begin on Oct. 17 in Rome, Ga. and extend through the weekend.
Elsewhere, the men's tennis team had representation in the Flight A and Flight C consolation singles finals. Sophomore Matthew Gonzalgo (Plantation, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas) won the Flight A final with an impressive come-from-behind win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges' Habbestad, 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (4). Freshman Rishi Gundakaram (Wyoming, Del. / Caesar Rodney), meanwhile, won his consolation semifinal match against Redlands' Yang in Flight C, 5-7; 6-2; 1-0 (3) to earn a spot in the final scheduled singles match of this year's regional championships. Gundakaram put up a fight against California Lutheran University's Spina, but fell short of one final victory, 6-3, 6-3.
Following the upcoming ITA Cup, Head Coach Jason Cohen and the 24th-ranked Beavers will return to action this January on a training trip to Hawaii. The first home match of the season will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15 against the University of California, Santa Cruz.