LOS ANGELES — After going down 4-1 against Biola University, the Occidental College men's tennis team swept the remaining singles matches to rally back for a 5-4 victory over the host Eagles on Friday.
Biola (1-4) jumped out to a 2-1 lead in doubles play behind an 8-1 defeat of No. 1 Jeremy Shapiro (Scottsdale) and Jordan Brown (San Diego) and an 8-6 victory over the No. 3 combo of Ben Herrington-Gilmore (Stillwater, MN) and Jamie Grossman (Tiburon).
"Perkins and Choy really stepped up and played great tennis winning their doubles and singles matches," Occidental men's tennis coach Brian Newhall said. "Both are improving rapidly and have their best tennis ahead of them."
Heading into singles behind, Oxy lost the No. 1 match, played by Kevin Siebs (Houston) (6-3, 6-2), and a tough battle by Shapiro in the No. 2 slot (6-4, 7-5) to go down 4-1.
From there Oxy did not lose a set.
"The guys battled hard to come back from the 2-1 doubles deficit. Everyone showed a lot of heart and toughness today."
Playing No. 3 singles, Brown came back from his doubles loss to defeat Brent Worthington 6-4, 6-1.
Perkins and Choy, following up their strong doubles performance came into their No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches and won 6-2, 7-5 and 6-1, 6-4, respectively.
"Last year we might have rolled over after being down 2-1 in doubles," stated Perkins. "This team believes it can win. Our mindset is fear no opponent, respect all opponents."
Herrington-Gilmore finished off the afternoon with a 6-0, 6-4 victory, securing the come-from-behind 5-4 win.
"The Biola courts are on the slow side," said Newhall. "So we really needed to focus on being patient and constructing points, not going for too much too soon. Our conditioning paid off today.
"Guys were willing to play long points and grind things out. I could not be happier with our effort and focus."
The Tigers have a week to regroup and improve conditioning before they take on their toughest, and first SCIAC opponent, of the season so far, No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer.
"We are excited to get off to a 3-0 start and have a week to work and improve prior to playing the No. 8 team in the nation, Pomona-Pitzer," Newhall said. "Our conditioning and practice intensity is going to jump up another notch this week. I told the guys to come hydrated… we are going to work.
"This journey is just beginning. "