Wei Comes Back From Brink To Give Sagehens 5-4 Win

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Kevin Wei (San Diego, Calif. - pictured) rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the third set, fighting off a dramatic match point along the way, for a three-set win to give Pomona-Pitzer a 5-4 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater on Tuesday.

The win improves Pomona-Pitzer's record to 5-10 on the season, snapping a two-match losing skid.

Wei's match at No. 5 singles was the last to finish, as No. 5 and No. 6 had to wait for court availability. Pomona-Pitzer led 2-1 after doubles and 4-3 after the first wave of singles ended, but Mitch Osbrone took a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 6 for the Warhawks to level the match at 4-4 as Wei was moving to a third set at No. 5. 

Andrew Bayliss started the third set with a break for Wisconsin-Whitewater and then moved ahead 3-0 with a second break. Wei broke back to try to take back momentum, but Bayliss went ahead 4-1 with his third service break in a row and then held quickly to take a 5-1 lead.

Wei held, but was in trouble down 5-2 as Bayliss took the first two points. Trailing 30-40 with a match point, Wei was on the defensive as Bayless charged the net. He barely got to a forehand down the line and floated a ball towards the net, as Bayless seemed to have an entire open court to hit the winning volley.

Wei, though, stopped on a dime after hitting his forehand, broke back across the court, and barely got to the ball on his backhand. He sliced a return just over the net, and when Bayliss went down to try to play it, he could only hit the ball up into the net for deuce. Wei went on to get the break and take momentum in the match, breaking once again down 5-4 to get the match back on serve.

After holding for a 6-5 lead, Wei had another miraculous shot to put him on the brink of the win, this time on a booming serve from Bayliss, who charged the net behind it. Wei lunged to his backhand with seemingly little hope of getting anything out of the point, but his return floated over the head of Bayliss and tucked just inside the baseline to give him two match points. He then ripped a pair of hard backhands to get Bayliss on the run, and a defensive lob floated out of bounds to give Wei a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 win, and give the Sagehens the 5-4 victory.

Wei and junior Chris Wiechert (Eugene, Ore.) also combined for an 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles, while seniors Max Sabel (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Frankie Allinson (McGregor, Texas) took an 8-6 win at No. 1.

Sophomore Connor Hudson (Golden, Colo.) added a big three-set win at No. 3 singles, taking the second and third sets 6-4 after falling 7-6 in a tiebreaker in the first set. Sabel won his singles match at No. 2 with some wild swings of momentum winning 6-0, 0-6, 6-4. 

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow for a 4 p.m. match against Middlebury.