Oct 17, 2019

Leach Makes History on Day One of ITA Cup

A Winning Tradition

 
  • One NWC Player of the Year (Spencer Watanabe, 2017-18)
  • One NWC Freshman of the Year (Luke Lemaitre, 2018-19) 
  • Seven Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Eight All-Americans
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes
 

ROME, Ga. --- Will Leach made history for George Fox men's tennis as he secured the program's first win at a national NCAA event. The junior split on day one of the 2019 ITA Cup, hosted by Berry College at the Rome Tennis Center.

Recap

"There's no one more deserving to make history for our program at the ITA Cup," Head Coach Jeff Cero noted. "This is a tough tournament, with ITA Regional champs and finalists battling for important ranking spots heading into the spring. There's no room for errors or mental mistakes, and it's a good challenge for us as a program."

The morning did not begin as planned, with Leach dropping his first-round match to Kenyon's Jake Zalenski, 6-4 6-2. Zalenski finished out the 2018-19 year-end rankings at No. 19.

The Portland native recovered and went on to defeat Alexander Angradi of Salisbury in his consolation match, 6-0 6-4. Angradi was also among the top-50 in last season's year-end rankings, coming in at No. 35. Leach's victory guarantees him a top-12 finish in the tournament.

"Will was disappointed with the first-round loss, as he had opportunities to go ahead in it, but he bounced back stronger and played much better in the second match. That first set in the consolation was a glimpse of the type of player he is building himself into overall."

What Comes Next

Leach will face either Andrew Esses of Emory or Matthew Michibata of TCNJ at 9:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow, Oct. 18. Cero is incredibly proud, and both are excited to see what the morning brings.

"Tomorrow's match is just as important as the last, and a good chance to build upon the matches today. We're looking forward to it."