THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2017) – Caltech men's tennis prevailed over West Region No. 16 Cal Lutheran University, with which the Beavers tied for fourth place in the SCIAC Preseason Coaches Poll, in Thousand Oaks on Sunday morning.
Freshman Connor Soohoo (Redwood Shores, Calif. / Crystal Springs) teamed with sophomore Zixiao Li (Coppell, Texas / Coppell) to pick up the Beavers' lone point in doubles at court #3, 8-4. Already trailing 1-2 heading into singles, Caltech quickly found itself at a 1-4 deficit that seemed insurmountable, especially as national Top-100 recruit Miha Valencic (olleyville, Texas / Grapevine) found himself in a 1-6, 0-5 hole at #5 singles. The rookie dug in, however, and rallied to force a third set, along with a pair of teammates at #3 and #6 while senior Ruthwick Pathireddy (Cerritos, Calif. / Whitney) claimed a 7-5, 6-2 victory at #1. With their backs against the wall, the Beavers continued to fight and eventually earned hard-fought wins at both #5 (Valencic: 1-6, 7-5, 6-3) and #6 (Soohoo: 6-2, 3-6, 6-2), leaving just sophomore Andre Liu (Novi, Mich. / Novi) at #3 with the match tied at 4-4. Liu played his way to a 3-3 score before going up a break at 5-4 and finally clinching the match at 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, handing the Beavers a crucial victory both in SCIAC play and regionally.
Head Coach Mandy Gamble and the Beavers are scheduled to host No. 30 Brandeis University tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.