CLAREMONT, Calif. — Juniors Max Sabel and Frankie Allinson moved up to No. 1 doubles for the first time this season and won 8-6, then each captured singles matches to help No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer defeat No. 5 UC Santa Cruz 5-4 on Saturday at Pauley Courts.
The win improves Pomona-Pitzer’s record on the year to 9-8 against the team that knocked them out of the NCAA tournament last spring. UC Santa Cruz slips to 9-8 with the loss.
Sagehen sophomore Chris Wiechert had his 13-match winning streak at No. 2 singles snapped by Erich Koenig. Wiechert struggled out of the gate in his third match in three days and was trailing 6-0, 3-0 at one point, but dug down and rallied back to level the second set. He fought off two match points down 5-4 to get it to a second set tiebreaker, but Koenig prevailed, taking a 4-2 lead at the changeover and then finishing off the tiebreaker with three consecutive points for a 7-2 win.
Wiechert’s last loss came on Feb. 24 against Michael Razumovsky of Kenyon, and he rattled off 13 consecutive wins since then, 12 of which came against nationally-ranked teams, before having the streak end on Saturday. However, he still contributed to the team win by getting a key doubles point in a close match, combining with Alex Groth for a 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles. UC Santa Cruz was serving down 8-7 to try to force a tiebreaker, when Wiechert and Groth ripped winners off service returns back-to-back to get the win and give the Sagehens a 2-1 lead going into singles.
Pomona-Pitzer actually ended the drama of the team match pretty quickly, as Allinson prevailed at No. 5 with a 7-6 win in the first set (7-1 in the tiebreaker) and 6-2 in the second, while Sabel won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3, and freshman Connor Hudson won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4.
Those results were the first three to finish, giving the Sagehens a 5-1 lead, as Wiechert tried to battle back at No. 2 and senior Tommy Meyer was down a set, but ahead 5-2 in the second at No. 1 singles. Koenig held off Wiechert in the tiebreaker, and Devin Nerenberg rallied to capture five consecutive games for a 7-5, 7-5 win at No. 1 for the Banana Slugs to get them within 5-3. The No. 6 singles match, which started later than the 1-5 slots, also went to UC Santa Cruz as Bruce Bettwy earned a 6-1, 6-3 win over Sagehen freshman Kevin Wei.