LOS ANGELES — The Occidental men's tennis team opened the season with an impressive showing against No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer, pushing them to their limit in a 7-2 loss.
It's the closest Oxy's been to Pomona-Pitzer in recent history.
Oxy's highlight was at No. 3 doubles, where a pair of first years, Joe Schwartz and David Zhang, looked nothing like rookies. Schwartz and Zhang won 8-7 after rallying from down 5-2. Both players used a wide variety of shots, playing strong tennis from the back of the court as well as effective net play.
Ivan Derrick, a junior from London, England, picked up Oxy's other point at No. 3 singles with a three-set win, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. He rallied in convincing fashion, using a mixture of big serving and steady baseline play.
Zhang, playing his first match at No. 1 singles, failed to serve out the first set, but had positioned himself impressively by hitting big first serves and forehands, to have a chance to beat Pomona-Pitzer's top guy Octave Bellett.
Coe played a solid match at No. 2 singles, but came up a little short in a match filled with extended rallies against the No. 31-ranked played in the country, Joshua Gearou, 6-3, 6-3.
Oxy No. 6 Jacques Pellet battled in his first collegiate match with some big ball striking before falling 6-3, 6-4.
"The new players on this team really seem to thrive in the team environment of college tennis," Oxy head coach David Bojalad said. "This bodes well given the success they had in the juniors. This coupled with some quality veteran leadership makes us a dangerous opponent against anyone."
The Tigers also played a drama-filled match against UC Santa Cruz, with multiple rain delays that extended over a two-day period. Given the weather conditions the match was played to decision with the Banana Slugs coming out on top 5-1 with three matches still in the balance.
Schwartz was also good against UC Santa Cruz, going up 6-2, 5-1 before the match was called.
Oxy's win came at No. 3 doubles with Schwartz and Zhang, who won 8-6. They are off to a 2-0 start to the season as a doubles team.
Next Match: The Tigers are back in action on Sunday at Scholl Canyon against Cal Lutheran at 2 p.m.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram