News release date: May 21, 1997

Whitmen Freshmen Claim First-Round
Victories at NAIA Tennis Championships

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College freshmen Amy Fong and Leslie Whitten did not leave the the NAIA National Tennis Championships empty-handed.

Fong and Whitten swept to easy to easy opening-round victories in the singles competition as the championships opened on Monday, May 19, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Later that day, however, both players lost second-round matches to drop from the single-elimination singles bracket.

"Amy and Leslie dominated their first-round opponents," Whitman coach Jayne McCarthy said. "Amy also played a great second-round match, even though she lost in three sets."

In Monday's first-round, which was disrupted at times by rain and wind, Fong blitzed Michele Robinson of Lambuth University (Jackson, Miss.) 6-2, 6-0, while Whitten slammed Tina Chrismar of Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, Texas) 6-2, 6-1.

In Monday's second round, Whitten lost 6-0, 6-2 to Lisa Robinson of Xavier University (New Orleans, La.). Meanwhile, Fong dropped a tough 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 6-3 decision to a more experienced Marcela Cendejas of the University of Incarnate Word (San Antonio, Texas). Cendejas is a senior from Mexico.

"Amy played a great match," McCarthy said. "She had a set point in the first set before losing in the tie-breaker, and then she won the second set easily. It was a good match between two good players."

On Tuesday, May 20, Whitten and Fong turned their attention to the doubles competition, but there was no "luck of the draw" for the Whitman freshmen when the brackets were pieced together.

Fong and Whitten found themselves playing two of the top-ranked players in the nation in the opening round of doubles play. The result was almost predictable, as Whitman's Northwest Conference doubles champions dropped a 6-1, 6-2 decision to Isabella Listowska and Marine Franchot of Mobile (Alabama) University.

Listowska, who is from Germany, is the No. 1 ranked player in the singles portion of the NAIA championships. Franchot, who is from France, is ranked No. 7 in the singles field. As a doubles team, they were seeded No. 7.

CONTACT: Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902
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