Photo: Noelle Davis
WHITTIER, Calif. (Apr. 6, 2018) – Led by an impactful round of doubles, the No. 36 Caltech men's tennis team took it to Whittier College on Friday, defeating the Poets, 8-1, in SCIAC play.
The standout performance came from second doubles team consisting of juniors Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) and Zixiao Li (Coppell, Texas / Coppell). The junior duo handled their opponents, 8-2, in the shortest of the day's three doubles matches. Li later went on to win one of the more competitive singles matches of the day, 7-6 (3), 7-5 at sixth singles.
Singles play also yielded dominance from the Beavers as freshman James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) earned his 12th singles victory of the season in 6-2, 6-3 fashion in the second slot behind fellow freshman Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) who won by an inverse score. Wei needs just two more wins to tie Li's single-season singles wins record (14). Together, the youngsters are the 11th-ranked doubles team in the region and need just one more win to tie the single-season doubles wins record set by Ruthwick Pathireddy '17 and Sathwick Pathireddy '17 back in 2015 (11). Another freshman, Kevin Yu (Mason, Ohio / Cincinnati Country Day) continued his consistent run in the bottom third of the Beavers' singles order with a 6-0, 6-0 win at fifth singles.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers will have a quick turnaround when they travel to No. 13 University of Redlands in one of the team's most anticipated matchups of 2018.