March 8, 2013

Prescott Dominates Third Set Tiebreaker To Give Sagehens 5-4 Win

Claremont, Calif. - Senior Kevin Prescott (Chicago, Ill. - pictured) won a third set tiebreaker 7-0 at No. 6 singles over Will Apperson as the No. 16 Pomona-Pitzer Men's Tennis team won a 5-4 decision over No. 23 Mary Washington on Thursday evening.

With the win, Pomona-Pitzer improves to 1-2 on the season, all against ranked teams, while Mary Washington falls to 6-4.

Prescott's match (7-6, 4-6, 7-6) lasted over an hour longer than every other singles match, as the two players began the third set with everything else in the books, deadlocked 4-4. Apperson took an early advantage with a service break and led 4-2, before Prescott was able to break back to get back on serve.

Apperson had a match point on Prescott's serve at 5-4, but Prescott was able to get a winner to fight that one off and pulled back even. He then broke Apperson in another long game with multiple deuces, and had a chance to serve for the match, but Apperson fought off two match points of his own and was able to break back in yet another multiple-deuce game to get it to a tiebreaker.

After a closely-contested match in which every game seemed to go to deuce and beyond, the tiebreaker turned out to break the trend and be completely one-sided in Prescott's favor. Apperson barely missed long with a lob to fall behind 2-0, and after hitting the tape to make it 3-0, Prescott put a lob perfectly in the corner, as it fell almost exactly where the sideline meets the baseline, to go up 4-0.

On the next point, Apperson charged the net looking for a change in momentum, but Prescott was able to rip a backhand winner down the line, and then follow that up with a service winner to go ahead 6-0 at the changeover in full command of the match. He finished it off as he picked off a low backhand before the bounce as Apperson came to net, and Apperson's volley clipped the tape and fell backwards for match point and a 5-4 Sagehen victory. 

Pomona-Pitzer trailed 2-1 after doubles, with junior Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore.) and sophomore Kevin Wei (San Diego, Calif.) taking the lone win at No. 2. Evan Charles and Donato Rizzolo rallied back from a 5-2 deficit for an 8-6 win at No. 1 to provide the Eagles with a 2-1 lead.

The Sagehens quickly surged in front in the early part of singles, though, as freshman Thomas Low (Charlotte, N.C.) improved to 3-0 in his career with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4, and sophomore Connor Hudson (Golden, Colo.) earned a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 3.

However, David Lunding-Johansson earned a quick win at No. 5 as well to level the match 3-3, while No. 1 and No. 2 singles moved into a third set. Tyler Carey was able to temporarily give the Eagles a 4-3 lead with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over Wiechert at No. 1, but senior Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) followed right behind with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory at No. 2 to get the match level at 4-4, just as Apperson was leveling the match at No. 6 at a set apiece, to set the stage for the dramatic third set.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action this weekend when it travels to UC Santa Cruz for three matches, facing the host Banana Slugs and Texas-Tyler on Saturday and Whitman on Sunday.

Pomona-Pitzer 5, Mary Washington 4

Doubles:
1) Evan Charles/Donato Rizzolo (MW) def. Max Sabel/Frankie Allinson 8-6
2) Chris Wiechert/Kevin Wei (PP) def Tyler Carey/Kaleb Nguyen 8-3
3) Alex Blakhin/Sam Wichlin (MW) def Thomas Low/Connor Hudson 8-4

Singles:
1) Tyler Carey (MW) def Chris Wiechert 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
2) Max Sabel (PP) def Alex Blakhin 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
3) Connor Hudson (PP) v Evan Charles 6-3, 6-4
4) Thomas Low (PP) def Sam Wichlin 6-2, 6-3
5) David Lunding-Johansson (MW) def. Frankie Allinson 6-1, 6-3
6) Kevin Prescott (PP) def Will Apperson 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (0)

Order of finish
Doubles: 2,3,1
Singles: 4,3,5,1,2,6