In its first Big West Conference match of the season, the No. 73 Cal Poly men’s tennis team (9-8, 1-0 Big West) did not drop one match, let alone a set, against the Hawaii Warriors on Sunday.
An all-out team effort began with a thrilling doubles performance. At the No. 2 position, juniors Tim Tan and Garrett Auproux delivered the first win.
No. 1 doubles duo and seasoned juniors Corey Pang and Ben Donovan were in a tight battle and managed to take a 5-3 lead. Meanwhile, at the No. 3 position sophomores Karl Enander and Dan Cardiff served for the set. Enander, the 6’3″ Swede, served an ace down-the-T to win the set and put the first point on the board for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly pressed forward to dominate singles play on all six courts. The energy flowed from court to court and the victories followed, starting with sophomore Axel Damiens’ flawless 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 5. Pang wasn’t far behind in closing out his match 6-0, 6-3. Pang leads the Mustangs in dual match singles victories with 13 wins this season at the No. 3 position.
In the first dual match appearance of his college career, freshman Sreyas Kolachalam stepped up to the challenge to put the fourth point on the board winning 6-3, 6-2. The final two singles matches in play were also captured by Mustangs, freshman Josh Ortlip at No. 4 and Auproux at No. 2.
Sunday’s match marked the end of Cal Poly’s month-long, eight-match home streak. The Mustangs’ home schedule has prepared them to enter the last stretch of their season.
The stakes are rising, but on Sunday the Mustangs rightfully demonstrated an unmatched confidence on their home courts, where they now hold an 8-3 record this season. Success at home has cultivated a team spirit that they hope to carry with them throughout conference play and the NCAA tournament.
Next weekend, Cal Poly travels to play UC Riverside on April 8 and UC Irvine on April 9.