Willamette Men's Tennis is Ranked #19 in West Region

Wong Secures #12 Ranking in Singles

By Brandon Chinn and Timothy Walsh

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's tennis team is ranked #19 in the West Region of NCAA Division III, according to the most recent poll unveiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Senior Joshua Wong (Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) earned individual recognition with a #12 ranking in singles. Wong and Samuel Wexman (Fr., Tiburon, CA/Tamiscal HS), were ranked 11th among doubles pairings.

The Bearcats have achieved a 6-4 record in the Northwest Conference this spring, and are battling for a spot in the four-team NWC tournament. Willamette's overall record stands at 6-9.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is first in the team rankings, with California Lutheran University at #2 and Trinity University (Tex.) at #3. The University of California-Santa Cruz owns the #4 ranking, with the University of Texas-Tyler listed at #5.

A total of six NWC teams are ranked in the West Region. In addition to Willamette, other NWC teams in the rankings are Whitman College at #6, George Fox University at #10, Pacific Lutheran University at #14, Pacific University at #15 and Whitworth University at #20.

Wong, who has played the entire year at #1 singles, has earned a 12-1 overall record this season, including a 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 victory over Whitman's Colton Malesovas, who is currently ranked eighth in the West Region. Wong is undefeated this year against Division III competition.

He has also notched victories over Antoine Bechmann, the top singles player at NCAA Division I Portland State University, and Byron Balkin of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, ranked 20th in the Central Region. All but two of Wong's wins have come in straight sets.

Nicholas Ballou from Cal Lutheran tops the men's singles list for the West Region. He is followed by Warren Wood from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #2 and Aaron Skinner from Trinity at #3. Ryan Ybarra from Texas-Tyler is #4 and Erich Koenig from UC-Santa Cruz is ranked #5.

Whitman's Andrew La Cava (#16) and Pacific's Giancarlo Battaglia (#25) are the other NWC singles players ranked in the West Region.

In doubles, Wong and Wexman have earned a 9-4 overall record, with only one loss coming against NWC competition. They have yet to face Whitman's tandem of Malesovas and La Cava, who hold the #5 regional ranking and are the only other NWC doubles pair in the regional rankings.

Ballou and Ray Worley from Cal Lutheran are the #1 doubles team in the West, with Wood and Joe Dorn from C-M-S at #2. Erick DelaFuente and Jordan Mayer of Trinity are ranked third, while Ybarra and Daniel Brown of Texas-Tyler are ranked fourth.

Willamette will honor Wong, the team's only senior, on Friday, April 12, when the Bearcats host archrival Linfield in their final home match of the season. The contest is slated to begin at 4 p.m. at the Willamette Tennis Courts. In the event of rain, the match will be played at the Courthouse Tennis Center (1379 Madison St. NE).

West Region Rankings
NCAA Division III
Men's Tennis
West Region Rankings
Released by the ITA
March 28, 2013
Joshua Wong is ranked #12 in the West Region in singles.

Joshua Wong is ranked #12 in the West Region in singles.