WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Continuing their tough season-opening men’s tennis schedule, the George Fox University Bruins fell to two nationally-ranked NCAA Division III foes in the Whitman College Shootout Sunday here at the Bratton Tennis Center, falling 7-2 to the University of California-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and 9-0 to the host Whitman Missionaries.
The Bruins picked up one win each in the singles and doubles against the Slugs, who are ranked No. 6 in the pre-season Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings and No. 2 in the West Region. George Fox wins went to Peter Brown and Justin McClain over Sam Rodgers and Erich Koenig 9-7 at No. 3 doubles, and to McClain over Erik Rosner 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
UCSC doubles wins went to Devin Nerenberg and Eli Scandalis over Preston Mann and Drew Milton 8-1 at No. 1, and to Rosner and Ian Stanley over Shawn Aldrich and David Munoz 8-0 at No. 2. In singles, Nerenberg knocked off Mann 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1; Koenig conquered Aldrich 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2; Bryce Bettwy beat Milton 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4; Rodgers topped Collin Hammagren 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5; and Stanley stopped Andy Tweet 6-0, 6-3 at No. 6.
The Bruins’ match with Whitman also counted as the first Northwest Conference match of the season for both teams. The Missionaries are ranked No. 29 in the ITA poll and No. 7 in the West.
In doubles, the Missionaries got wins from Conor Holton-Burke and Matt Tesmond over the Bruins’ Mann and Milton 8-2 at No. 1, Andrew La Cava and James Rivers over Aldrich and Munoz 8-2 at No. 2, and Steven Roston and Sam Sadeghi over McClain and Brown 8-6 at No. 3.
The Missionaries took all but one set in the singles. Holton-Burke topped Mann 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1; Rivers defeated Aldrich 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2; Adriel Borshansky downed McClain 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3; Will Huskey split with Milton before winning 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4; Roston beat Brown 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5; and Colton Malesovas mastered Munoz 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6.
NEXT: George Fox (0-3), which opened its season with a 9-0 setback to the Division I University of California-Davis, will play its first home match Saturday, a non-conference contest with the College of Idaho at 2:00 p.m. ... Cal-Santa Cruz will participate in the NCAA Division III ITA Indoor Championships Feb. 17-19 in St. Peter, Minn. ... Whitman (2-3) will play Rhodes College and Kalamazoo College at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Va., on Saturday, the first match at 6:00 a.m. Eastern time and the second at 12:00 noon Eastern time.