Dear Slug Fans,
We arrived home Sunday morning at 3:00am bleary eyed but happy after finishing our Div lll dual match schedule with three wins to wrap up the top spot in the region. On Friday we beat Cal Tech 9-0 and were able to play almost everyone that made the trip. Erik Rosner and Ian Stanley won at one doubles, Bryce Bettwy and Chris Goetz won at two doubles and Josh Mason and Jordan Randolf won at three doubles. In singles Sam Rodgers led the singles sweep followed by Ian, Erik, Bryce, Josh and Chris.
Next up was the big one vs Pomona Pitzer who came into the match ranked 8th in the country with a 15-2 record. I am a huge fan of their coach Ben Belletto who has help me run the NIKE Santa Cruz Tennis Camp for the past 10 years. He has been headed in this direction for years but this year it has come together for he and his program. We jumped out to an early lead in all three doubles and it looked like we were off to the races in this match with big implications on hosting the NCAA regional. The Hens fought hard and were able to turn around the early leads at one and two doubles to win 8-6 at one and 9-7 at two doubles to take a lead into the singles. Erich Koenig and Sam Rodgers continued their strong play of late in winning 8-4 at three doubles. With our backs to the wall we came out firing in singles! First off was Erich Koenig who showed that he is one of the top players in our region in defeating Chris Wiechert 6-3,6-0. Chris has had a fantastic season having lost only two matches and none by this convincing a score. Next off was Yushi Ayabe who won 6-4,6-3 at six singles putting us up 3-2. Brian Pybas started super strong in the first set winning 6-2 and then held strong to win the second in a tiebreaker to put us within one win of clinching. After losing the first set Parker Larsen righted the ship and iced the match with a 4-6,6-0,6-3 win at three singles. Andre Halabi got on the board with a 6-4,7-6 win at four singles hitting more winners that ever showing off his improved offense. With the match decided Sam Rodgers lost a very close tiebreaker for the third set against fellow tennis camp staffer Max Sabel in a beautifully played match by both players. In exhibition matches Chris Goetz and Bryce Bettwy posted a win in doubles and Jordan Randolf won in singles.
Against Chapman University we played our top three doubles teams and rolled to a 3-0 lead with Brian and Parker winning 8-4 at one, Erik and Ian winning 8-6 at two and Erich and Sam winning 8-2 at three. In singles Yushi Ayabe led the way with a straight set win at one singles to remain undefeated. At two singles Ian Stanley bounced back from a first set loss to dominate the second and third sets in a 3-6,6-1,6-1 victory. Erik Rosner, Bryce Bettwy, Josh Mason and Chris Goetz all won in straight sets showing our team strength and massive improvement throughout the lineup in this 9-0 victory.
Special thanks to all our wonderful fans!!! Special thanks to the Koenig family for the amazing pre-Pomona dinner at Outback and for all their support at the match. It was wonderful to see Jimmy Shapiro, father of Slug great Bryan Shapiro, who also paid us a visit with his family. Their support past and present has been amazing. Great to see alum Rob Horsh with much appreciation for all his wonderful support. Great to see support from the Stanleys,Rosners, Bettwys, Ayabes and all our other fans including team Simmons. All this made for a very wonderful weekend.
With our dual match season complete, we have much to look forward to as our season should continue at home as we have won the right to host the first couple rounds of the NCAA tournament on May 13-15. As always we will face the toughest competition of any regional with at least three top ten teams. I sincerely hope many of you will join us for these amazing matches. Next up will be the Ojai Championships on April 29th-May 1st which should be another great test for our team. I will preview this event when the draws are posted.
Thanks again for all your support and Go Slugs! Best wishes, Coach Hansen and Seeberger