The Cal Poly men’s tennis team went undefeated over the weekend, picking up two victories over rival UC Davis and Santa Clara to extend their winning streak to five games.
Cal Poly vs. UC Davis
After losing the doubles point to the Aggies, Cal Poly rallied to win four singles matches to defeat UC Davis 4-2 Saturday.
With the win, the Mustangs improved their record to 16-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play to remain tied for first place in the Big West Conference standings.
In doubles, junior Josh Ortlip and senior Axel Damiens lost in the No. 1 spot to Ivan Thamma and Everett Maltby 6-3. Then, UC Davis pair Tommy Lam and Davis Goulak took down Mustangs freshmen Andrew Whitehouse and Roman Shenkiryk at the No. 2 spot 6-2 to seal the doubles point.
Cal Poly turned the match around in singles play, with Ortlip easily winning his match at the No. 1 spot in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. The Mustangs achieved similar results at the No. 2 spot as junior Dominic Bechard won his match in straight sets as well 6-3, 6-2.
Sophomore Antoine Noel defeated Maltby at the No. 3 spot 6-4, 6-4, while Damiens rallied back in the second set against Lam at No. 4 to defeat him 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and clinch the dual match.
Cal Poly vs. Santa Clara
Cal Poly defeated Santa Clara Sunday afternoon 4-3 in a non-conference dual match after their scheduled match earlier this season was postponed due to rain.
The Mustangs secured the doubles point winning at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. The pair of Bechard and senior Karl Enander defeated Kamran Khan and Connor Garnett 6-2 at No. 3 Whitehouse and Shenkiryk won at No. 2, defeating Vasileios Iliopoulos and Jesus Barajas 6-4 to win the doubles point for Cal Poly.
In singles play, Ortlip earned the first singles point for Cal Poly defeating Andrew Gu 7-5, 6-3 at the No.1 spot. With the win, Ortlip improved his singles record to 17-5 on the season.
“I just try to play with as much intensity as I can, practice the right way so I’m prepared for matches,” Ortlip said. “It just comes down to mental toughness and focus. In high-pressure situations it’s more about the mind and how willing you are to stay out there and fight and compete.”
Santa Clara tried to rally by taking three singles points from the Mustangs with the Broncos winning on courts two, three, and five.
Damiens clinched the match for the Mustangs, winning the final point in the No. 4 position by defeating Robert Seby in three sets 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
“When I’m the last one on the court and I see all the guys looking at me and they expect it from me, it’s just a pleasure to give it to them,” Damiens said. “It’s always a good feeling that you don’t really get used to, it just feels good every single time.”
The Mustangs are now 17-5 on the season and undefeated at home with a record of 11-0 and are currently tied for first place in the Big West Conference with UC Santa Barbara. The two teams will meet next weekend in San Luis Obispo Saturday, April 21 at 10 a.m.