Photo: Jeremy Kniffin
CLAREMONT, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2018) – The sophomore men's doubles team consisting of James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) and Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) are through to the second round of the ITA West Regional Championship thanks to a Friday morning victory.
The top-seeded classmates survived a first-round scare from Whittier College's Eccles and Yannuck, but pulled out the eight-game set 7-3 in the tiebreaker. The duo will now face Carroll and Vermui from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Both players also picked up significant wins in singles fare, with Wei defeating the tournament's seventh-seeded player in three sets (4-6, 6-4, 7-5) while Shanker knocked off the tournament's ninth-seeded player 6-3, 6-0. Junior Miha Valencic (Colleyville, Texas / Grapevine) came up short in the second tiebreaker of his first-round match but came just a few points away from advancing in the middle of the draw (6-7, 6-4, 7-6).
The Beavers also saw some success in Flight B. Junior Connor Soohoo (Redwood Shores, Calif. / Crystal Springs) and freshman Matthew Gonzalgo (Plantation, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas) each earned a pair of victories to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals. Soohoo advanced out of the first round thanks to a retirement but channelled the extra energy into a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over the draw's seventh-seeded player. Gonzalgo, the fourth-seeded player, won both of his matches in straight sets and will next face Joey Schwartz from Pomona-Pitzer Colleges while Soohoo takes on Thomas Reznick from the University of Redlands. Seniors Derik Nguyen (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon) and Zixiao Li (Coppell, Texas / Coppell) also won Flight B matches, with Nguyen coming out on top, 6-4, 7-5 and Li winning his first round match, 6-2, 6-2.