SAN DIEGO, CA — The Ephs men's tennis team played their first match of their Spring Break trip to California on Monday evening against the Sea Lions of Point Loma Nazarene University, squeaking out a narrow 5-4 victory by way of a strong singles performance and sophomore Alexander Schidlovsky's three-set victory over Sea Lion senior Kaptan Kaster. With the win, the Ephs move to 3-0 on the season.
The Ephs got off to a slow start in the doubles portion of the match, only managing to nab one of the three possible points. The combination of Schidlovsky and senior Matt Micheli lost by the score of 8-3 at the one position to the Sea Lion senior combination of Brooks Baldinger and Michael Zablan. Freshman Conrad Harron and and sophomore Brian Astrachan lost a close match at the number two position to the pair of Kaster and Sea Lion sophomore Martin Blaho, falling 8-6 in the 8-all tiebreaker. Sophomore Jose Raventos and freshman Rohan Shastri were able to salvage a point for the Ephs at the three position with a comfortable 8-4 victory over the sophomore combination of Daniel Milliken and Kevin McKelligan to send the Ephs into the singles portion only down one point.
The Ephs quickly put the disappointment of doubles behind them as the singles matches began, winning three of the six matches rather comfortably. At the number three position, Harron swept aside Blaho easily with a smooth 6-3, 6-1 victory. This straight-set victory was matched by Raventos against Milliken and Eph senior Adam Reich against freshman Ben Hammond at the number five and six positions, winning 6-4, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-3 respectively.
The Sea Lions, quickly finding themselves down 4-2, did not give up easily, nabbing wins at both the one and two positions. Baldinger downed Micheli 6-3, 6-1, before Zablen was able to outlast Eph sophomore Howard Weiss in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
With the score all tied up at 4 apiece, it came down to the number four match between Schidlovsky and Kaster. Schidlovsky pulled out the first set in a tiebreaker, before Kaster battled back to take the second set 6-3, sending the entire dual down to a decisive third set, which Schidlovsky was able to pull out by a margin of 7-5, keeping the Ephs' perfect record alive early in the season.
After the match, Ephs head coach Dan Greenberg praised his team's resiliency to continue to fight after a tough doubles performance: "We were a little rusty with doubles, but we settled into singles and got a hard fought win. Schidlovsky came up big to clinch the match in his third set."
The Ephs are in action again tomorrow, against Pomona-Pitzer at 7 PM in Pomona, California.
Williams 5, Point Loma 4
1. Baldinger, Brooks (PLNU-MT) def. Micheli, Matt (WILLIAMS) 6-3, 6-2
2. Zablan, Michael (PLNU-MT) def. Weiss, Howard (WILLIAMS) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 3. Harron, Conrad (WILLIAMS) def. Blaho, Martin (PLNU-MT) 6-3, 6-1
4. Schidlovsky, Alex (WILLIAMS) def. Kaster, Kaptan (PLNU-MT) 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 5. Raventos, Jose (WILLIAMS) def. Milliken, Daniel (PLNU-MT) 6-4, 6-1
6. Reich, Adam (WILLIAMS) def. Hammond, Benjamin (PLNU-MT) 6-3, 6-2
1. Baldinger, Brooks/Zablan, Michael (PLNU-MT) def. Micheli, Matt/Schidlovsky, Alex (WILLIAMS) 8-3 2. Blaho, Martin/Kaster, Kaptan (PLNU-MT) def. Harron, Conrad/Astrachan, Brian (WILLIAMS) 9-8
3. Shastri, Rohan/Raventos, Jose (WILLIAMS) def. Milliken, Daniel/McKelligan, Kevin (PLNU-MT) 8-4
Point Loma 4-11; Regional ranking #7, Williams plays in NCAA DIvision III