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Poets fall short of upset, Sagehens survive, 5-4
Saturday, 02/21/2009
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Whittier College Team Page

Feb. 20, 2009
WHITTIER, Calif. - The Whittier College men's tennis team came one win away from upsetting No. 30 Pomona-Pitzer on Friday afternoon at the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts but the Sagehens won the final two matches of the day to pull off the come from behind victory, 5-4.

The Poets (3-1, 1-1 SCIAC) opened the day in impressive fashion as they took two of the three doubles matches to hold a 2-1 advantage going into singles.

Whittier's No. 1 team of Sean Robertson and Justin DeLong needed little time to notch the first victory of the day for the purple and gold as the two juniors won 8-1. The No. 3 team of Frank Sun and Gavin Smith tallied the other win for the Poets, 8-4.

Sun continued to stay hot this season as he improved to a perfect 8-0 (singles and doubles) with a 6-2, 6-3, win at No. 6 singles.

Patricio Carregha rebounded from a doubles defeat to win the No. 3 singles match, 6-2, 7-6 (1) and put the Poets in position to steal the match from the Sagehens. Carregha improved to 4-0 at singles on the year.

The Poets led 4-3 with the No. 5 and No. 2 singles matches still in play. Smith took the first set fro Pomona's Alden Williford but couldn't hold on as he lost 6-3, 2-6, 2-6.

In arguably the match of the day DeLong faced 2008 second team all-SCIAC performer Nick Tagliarino in No. 2 singles. DeLong won the first set from Tagliarino, 6-4, but Tagliarino responded with a 6-2 set to tie the score.

DeLong led 4-3 but dropped two consecutive games to put his back against the wall. Down 5-4 and with match-point against him, DeLong returned Tagliarino's forehand a foot too deep which sealed the victory for Pomona.

"This is going to be a hard one to get over," said head coach Dave Bojalad. "If we win this match, we most likely get nationally ranked next week which was or goal this year."

The Poets return to action tomorrow, February 21, as they travel to Claremont, Calif., to face No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.