Sagehens Fall One Point Shy Of Upsetting Williams

Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Tennis team had a match point to defeat No. 2 ranked and defending national champion Williams, but came up just short as it dropped a 5-4 decision on Tuesday evening at the Pauley Tennis Complex.

With the loss, the Sagehens fall to 8-4 on the year, while Williams stays perfect at 4-0 heading into a match later this week against No. 3 CMS.

Pomona-Pitzer also had to adjust its singles lineup due to a late scratch to Jonathan Kim after doubles and started four freshmen, with Anthony Bello moving into the fifth spot and Josh Kim starting at No. 6. Williams led 2-1 after doubles, but the Sagehens won the first set at five of the six singles courts, while Josh Kim took advantage of his opportunity to play at No. 6 and whipped through his match in less than an hour, winning 6-1, 6-0 to level the score 2-2.

Senior Chris Wiechert then finished off an impressive 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 1 singles, and freshman Graham Maassen rallied for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4 to give Pomona-Pitzer a 4-2 lead, but Williams was able to come from behind on each of the final three courts to win in three sets and take the win.

Jose Raventos came up particularly big for the Ephs, staving off two match points at No. 5 against Bello, who took the first set 6-2 and had a 6-5 lead in a second-set tiebreaker. However, Raventos fought that one off, put a shot right in the corner that forced a passing shot from Bello to drift wide, and then earned the set when Bello missed by inches on a forehand down the line.

Raventos had the first break in the third, but Bello broke back and held for a 5-4 lead, then earned his second match point with Raventos serving down 30-40, putting the Sagehens a point away from the team clinch. Raventos, though, won a long rally before holding, then broke on a perfect drop shot. Bello put some pressure on in the ensuing service game, but Raventos was able to connect on a pair of delicate volleys to hold on for the win.

That win knotted the score up 4-4, but moments later, Howard Weiss finished off a 6-2 third set at No. 2 singles over freshman Jake Yasgoor to break the tie and give the Ephs the narrow win. Conrad Harron also came back at No. 3 singles after dropping the first set, winning the third set 7-5 over junior Connor Hudson (who earlier won his doubles match with Maassen 8-3 at No. 3). 

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action when it hosts UC Santa Cruz on Friday for a 10 a.m. contest.