Whalen Wins ITA West Regional NAIA Singles Championship

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - September 25th, 2016



By Kaci Mexico
September 24, 2016

Westmont Men’s Tennis found success in the first action of their season when they travelled to La Mirada to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association NAIA Small College West Regional Tournament. Luke Whalen captured the singles title, and John Joens and Philipp Sibbel made it to the final round of doubles play.

The Warriors had six players entered into the tournament – returning players Christian Mathis, Luke Whalen, Tommy Nightingale, and Jordan Strandness; and newcomers Phillipp Sibbel and John Joens.

The first singles round was played on Thursday September 22 – Whalen had a bye, Philipp Sibbel defeated Nicholas Bell of San Diego Christian 6-1, 6-0, Christian Mathis overcame Adrien Varenne of Hope International by a score of 6-4, 6-2, Jordan Strandess was defeated by Santiago Galeffi of Arizona Christian 2-6, 5-7, Tommy Nightingale was defeated by Marucio Mosquera of Hope International by a score of 4-6, 2-6, and John Joens was defeated by Kyle Rae of Hope international 2-6, 4-6. Whalen, Sibbel, and Mathis all advanced to the second round.

The next day on Friday September 23, Whalen, Sibbel and Mathis were each victorious. Whalen defeated Lorenzo Balderrama of Arizona Christian 6-3, 6-2, Sibbel defeated Enzo Douillac of Arizona Christian 7-6, 6-1, and Mathis defeated Galeffi 6-4, 6-3.

Later that day in the quarterfinals Sibbel and Whalen were victorious, while Mathis fell. Sibbel defeated Leonardo Urquidi of San Diego Christian 6-1, 6-4 and Whalen defeated Alberto Lapeidra of Arizona Christian 7-6(3), 7-5. Mathis fell to Philip Westwood of Biola in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 10-5.

Earlier today in the semifinals, Sibbel defeated Westwood in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 10-6 and Whalen defeated Alessandro Moriano of San Diego Christian by a score of 6-2, 6-4. It was Warrior versus Warrior in the championship match, and Whalen came out on top when he defeated Sibbel by a score of 6-2, 7-5.

In the first doubles round on Thursday September 22, Nightingale and Strandness defeated Rae and Sergio Romero of Hope International by a score of 8-4; Joens and Sibbel conquered Avi Bami and Andres Rivas of Hope International 8-0; and Mathis and Whalen defeated Bell and Jan-Erik Isermann of San Diego Christian 8-5. All three Westmont doubles teams advanced to the second round.

In the quarterfinals on Friday September 23, Mathis and Whalen fell to Balderrama and Galeffi 6-8; Nightingale and Strandness were defeated by Moriano and Urquidi 3-8; and Joens and Sibbel advanced to the championship match when they defeated Douillac and Wheeler 8-5.

In today’s championship match, Joens and Sibbel fell to Alberto Lapeidra and Seth Moore of Arizona Christian in a super tie-breaker 6-3, 3-6, 10-3.
Head coach Mark Basham shared his reflections about the tournament.

“I was very happy with Luke and Phillip in their singles matches as they both had to be very resilient and focused,” noted Basham. “This is the second time that Luke has won the ITA Regional Singles. Philipp and John showed great fight, winning the 2nd set in doubles – but their opponents played spirited and inspired tennis in the to win in the super tiebreaker. It was certainly an excellent tournament overall.”

After winning this Championship, Whalen will continue on to compete at the ITA Oracle Cup in Surprise, Arizona at the Tennis and Racquet Club from October 13-16.