Athlete of the Semester: Matt Solomon

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Matt Solomon '10 finished his prolific Whitman tennis career on a high note taking seventh place in the National Small College Championships. Credit: Von Hafften
Matt Solomon ’10 finished his prolific Whitman tennis career on a high note taking seventh place in the National Small College Championships. Credit: Von Hafften

Matt Solomon, a senior tennis player, has had many successful seasons here at Whitman, as well as one semester at Boise State. This October, Solomon competed at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Small College Championship in Alabama, taking seventh place.

Solomon has had an outstanding career at Whitman. As a first-year, he earned second team all-conference honors and won the ITA’s Northwest region in doubles with senior Nadeem Kassam.

As a sophomore, Solomon won the ITA’s west region singles and doubles tournament, the doubles tournament with junior Etienne Moshevich. He was ranked as high as number five in the ITA’s west region singles rankings and in the ITA’s west region doubles with his older brother, Daniel Solomon. In the same year, Matt Solomon also won the Northwest Conference’s Athlete of the Year award, the conference’s top honor.

Instead of traveling abroad, Solomon attended Boise State University the second semester of his junior year, where he continued to play tennis. Boise State, at the time, boasted a top 20 ranking amongst Division I tennis programs.

“I’ve always wanted to go abroad, but I also cherish playing tennis in college and didn’t want to give any of that up,” said Solomon. “I feel like I learned a lot from practicing with the guys at Boise and playing against the top Division I teams in the country. I learned a lot about how tennis is played at the top collegiate levels and the coaching staff there gave me a lot of tips that I’m excited to bring back to the team here at Whitman.”

Even though tennis is generally considered more of an individual sport than a team sport, Solomon is always more than willing to heap praise on his teammates. This last fall, Whitman had three of the four players in the singles semifinal of the regional tournament.

“One of our freshmen, Jeff Tolman, had an incredible fall tournament and his future here is really bright,” said Solomon. “In fact, his first set against me in the finals was some of the best tennis I’ve seen here at Whitman!”

Despite his many individual accolades and accomplishments on the court, Solomon focuses a lot on fostering a unified team attitude.

“We are better than we think we are, and I want this group of guys to truly believe that we can compete with any team in Division III, because we can,” Solomon said.