LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (Apr. 9, 2018) – Freshman Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) has been named SCIAC Athlete of the Week for the second time, thanks in large part to his contributions towards one of the Caltech men's tennis team's biggest wins in program history.
Shanker started the week with a pair of victories at Whittier College on Friday, following a six-day layoff. Shanker began the day with an 8-5 win at first doubles along with fellow freshman James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley), before beating the Poets' top singles player, 6-3, 6-2. Shanker and Wei then turned around the very next day and took six games off of the No. 13 University of Redlands' top doubles team before Shanker earned the biggest singles win of his college career. The freshman fought through a competitive first set with nationally fifth-ranked Chase Lipscomb before taking the first-set tiebreaker, 7-2 and later taking over with a 6-1 second set.
The accolade is just another in a mounting list for Shanker in his rookie season. The freshman became SCIAC Athlete of the Week for the first time on Mar. 12, 2018 with a 4-for-4 week and just last week entered the ITA west regional rankings for the first time in both singles and doubles. Shanker is currently ranked 18th in the region and is one-half of the 11th ranked doubles team in the region alongside Wei. Now, the freshman is in striking distance of teammate Zixiao Li's (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) single-season singles wins record (12) and is one doubles win away from tying the Pathireddy brothers' single-season doubles wins record (11).
Shanker and the Beavers will be back in SCIAC action on Friday the 13th when they take on Occidental College at Scholl Canyon.