NEWBERG, Ore. – With the match knotted 3-3 and three singles left, the George Fox University hung tough but could not pull off a Northwest Conference men’s tennis upset over the powerful Whitman College Missionaries, who are ranked eighth in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, in a match played Saturday at two different venues.
The battle began in the morning at the GFU campus courts, where the Bruins put the Missionaries in a position they rarely find themselves in by taking two of the three doubles matches. Drew Milton and David Munoz finished off Whitman’s Sam Sadeghi and James Rivers quickly 8-1 at No. 3, and Preston Mann and Shawn Aldrich captured a hard-fought 8-6 victory over one of the nation’s top-ranked doubles tandems of Conor Holton-Burke and Matt Tesmond at No. 1. The Missionaries took the middle match as Jeff Tolman and Andrew La Cava notched an 8-2 win over Justin McClain and Peter Brown.
With rain beginning to fall, the singles were interrupted and moved the indoor courts at the Club Green Meadows in Vancouver, Wash., to complete. Whitman then forged ahead as Adriel Borshansky dispatched Andy Tweet 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 singles and Rivers downed Milton 6-2, 6-3 at No. 4, but McClain evened the match with a 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-5) win over Holton-Burke, last year’s NWC Player of the Year, at No. 3.
With the match hanging in the balance, the tournament-tested Missionaries were able to prevail in three tough contests as Steven Roston dodged David Munoz 6-2, 7-5 at No. 6, La Cava conquered Mann 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1, and Tolman finished off the Bruins with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Aldrich at No. 2.
“Following up an impressive win yesterday over Whitworth, which is a regionally-ranked team, today’s match was a great battle between two tough and talented teams that in the end came down to a few games, even points,” observed George Fox coach Neal Ninteman. “Our guys played their hearts out and took one of the top teams in the nation - Whitman is ranked higher than they have ever been before - right down to the wire. This team is playing great tennis and really hitting our stride; we’re getting better every day and are looking forward to building on this weekend’s success in the upcoming matches.”
NEXT: George Fox (5-6, NWC 4-2) visits Lewis & Clark College Friday at 3:30 p.m. ... Whitman (8-3, NWC 4-0) had a Saturday afternoon match at Pacific University at 3:00 p.m. after playing the Bruins, then visits Linfield College Sunday at 11:00 a.m.