The Cal Poly men’s tennis team improved to 9-4 after sweeping their home doubleheader against Saint Mary’s and UC Santa Cruz Saturday.
The Mustangs were set to take on Santa Clara the previous day, but after heavy rain, the match was postponed.
Cal Poly vs. Saint Mary’s
Cal Poly defeated Saint Mary’s 4-0 Saturday morning in the first match of their doubleheader at Mustang Tennis Courts.
At the start of the doubles competition, Saint Mary’s sophomore Damon Kesaris and senior Nash Vollenweider defeated Mustangs junior Josh Ortlip and senior Axel Damiens, surrendering only two games. However, that was the only win Saint Mary’s earned as the Mustangs took control of the match from then on.
Freshmen Andrew Whitehouse and Roman Shenkiryk along with the duo of junior Dominic Bechard and senior Karl Enander each picked up wins against their opponents to secure the doubles point for Cal Poly.
In singles play, Damiens, Bechard and freshman Alexander Stater defeated their opponents quickly, only losing three games in two sets each.
Sitting at a 4-0 lead after the Mustangs won the first three matches, the dual match ended early with the victory secured.
Cal Poly vs. UC Santa Cruz
The Mustangs continued their dominance in their second dual match of the day when they defeated UC Santa Cruz 7-0.
“I know we won earlier 4-0 but I think we could’ve played a lot better, as silly as that might sound in a shutout match,” head coach Nick Carless said. “But I thought we did a really good job of bouncing back in a firmer, more complete match against Santa Cruz.”
Cal Poly started the match by jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead after the Ortlip-Damiens and Bechard-Enander duos made light work of their opponents, defeating them 6-1 and causing the match to go straight to singles.
In singles, the Banana Slugs were swept and had only one match go to a third set.
First, Shenkiryk started off with a quick 6-0, 6-2 win over his opponent. Soon after, Damiens and Stater both won their matches to give Cal Poly a 4-0 lead and secure the victory.
However, the ensuing matches were played out as both teams decided to continue the dual match.
Sophomore Antoine Noel and Ortlip continued the sweep as both picked up wins against their opponents. Bechard then ended the last match of the day as he defeated Banana Slugs junior Magnus Ibh in three sets to close out a 7-0 win.
With the win, Cal Poly now sits at 9-4 overall atop the Big West Conference standings.
“This is technically a year when, on paper, we’re young and we’re 9-4 and that’s a great place to be at this point in the season even though that was not one of our goals,” Carless said. “We’re happy to have a winning record but we have a lot of things we still want to accomplish so we’re chopping wood, trying to build a big pile, and hoping to have a big fire by the end of the year.”
The Mustangs will host another doubleheader Thursday when they face the University of Texas at San Antonio at 10 a.m. followed by Idaho at 2 p.m.