No. 14 Men’s Tennis Ends Spring-Break Trip with 4-2 Record after 5-4 Setback to No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer men's tennis team outlasted No. 14 Tufts University, 5-4, on Friday in Claremont, California, as the Jumbos concluded their spring-break trip with a 4-2 record. 

Zach Shaff was involved in a pair of victories for the Jumbos on Friday.

The Sagehens (12-7) started the event by taking two out of three matches in doubles action. The hosts and visitors each went 3-3 in singles action, as three out of the six matches were three-set battles. The Jumbos will compete in their home opener next Saturday (April 1) against NESCAC Conference-rival and No. 15 Amherst at noon in Medford, Massachusetts. 

Seniors Spencer Simonides and Antony Bello opened up with a strong effort in No. 1 doubles, downing juniors Griffin Brockman and Rohan Gupte, 8-2. Freshman Zach Shaff and senior captain Ben Battle put the Jumbos on the scoreboard, as the pair fought its way to a 9-7 victory over seniors Graham Maassen and Jake Yasgoor during No. 2 doubles. 

Junior Zain Ali and freshman Benjamin Biswas were competitive during No. 3 doubles, but freshman Quinn Hirsohn and junior Marko Mandic emerged victorious with an 8-6 win. 

Shaff and senior captain Kevin Kelly mounted strong comebacks during No. 4 and 5 singles, respectively. Shaff fell, 2-6, in opening-set action to Bello, and then evened the match with a 6-4 triumph in the second set. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, native cruised to a 6-2 victory in the decisive third set. 

Kelly was staring at a 1-0 deficit, as he dropped the first set, 5-7, to Mandic, and then responded with a back-and-forth 7-6 victory during the second set. The captain put a stamp on the match with a 6-3 triumph in the final set.

Yasgoor and Gupte squared off in No. 1 singles, as Yasgoor claimed a hard-fought 7-5 victory in the first set, and then posted a commanding 6-2 win in the second set. Ali responded with a convincing straight-set victory, 6-2, 6-1, against Maassen during No. 2 singles. 

Senior Josh Kim earned a 6-4 opening-set victory over junior Danny Coran during No. 3 singles, but Coran countered with a 6-3 triumph in the second set. In the do-or-die third set, Kim posted a 6-4 win. During No. 6 singles, junior Sam Malech defeated Biswas, 6-3, 6-3.

The Jumbos opened their trip to California with three consecutive victories, as they defeated Point Loma, 6-3, on March 18, the College of the Desert, 6-0, on March 19 and No. 24 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 9-0, on March 20. The squad suffered a 9-0 setback at the hands of No. 5 University of Chicago on March 21, and then outlasted No. 37 Colby, 6-3, on March 22. 

Written by Trevor Wenners, Athletic Communications Intern