PASADENA, Calif. (Apr. 10, 2015) – Junior Alexander Henny (Scarborough, Maine / Scarborough) won in straight sets at #6 singles as the Caltech men's tennis team hosted Arizona Christian University on Friday afternoon.
The Beavers fell, 7-2, but never gave an inch in a season-longest, four-and-a-half hour match that included an amazing six tiebreaks in 16 total sets. Caltech is now 5-8 overall while Arizona Christian improves to 9-13.
Caltech fell behind 2-0 as ACU took #3 doubles and barely pulled out the win at #2, 8-6. Sophomores Ruthwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) and Sathwick Pathireddy (Irvine, Calif. / Whitney) took #1 doubles, 8-5, to halve the deficit going into singles play. The twins also notched a new program-record 10th doubles win of the season.
Henny made short work of his opponent at #6 with a pair of 6-2 sets to level the match, but every other match was destined to take quite a bit longer. Sathwick Pathireddy was the only other Beaver to win his opening set, 7-6 (2), as the pace at the top three courts crawled along with all three going to tiebreakers in the first set. Meanwhile, the Firestorm came away with wins at #4 (6-4, 0-6, 6-4) and #5 (6-1, 7-6 ) to pull within one point of clinching the match.
Junior Rushikesh Joshi (Sunnyvale, Calif. / Archbishop Mitty) bounced back after dropping his first set to post a 6-2 victory in the second, all the while serving as the Beavers' vocal leader and raising his teammates' level of play. Sathwick Pathireddy fed off the energy to win his second tiebreaker at #3 while his twin took a 5-4 lead at #1.
Their Firestorm foes dug deep, however, to regain the edge at all three remaining courts. Joshi found himself down 5-0 and facing match point at #2 while Sathwick fell behind 4-1 and Ruthwick was drawn into another tiebreaker. Joshi staged a furious rally to take the next three games before finally bowing out, with Ruthwick also going down just moments later and Sathwick not long afterward.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers will take on the SCIAC's top two teams in No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (20-1, 4-0) and No. 3 Pomona-PItzer Colleges (22-4, 4-1) tomorrow, Saturday, Apr. 11 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively.