Men's Tennis Semifinal: Bearcats vs. Pirates
News Release Date:
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
NWC Men's Tennis Playoffs
No. 2 Willamette vs. No. 3 Whitworth
2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2011
Whitman Outdoor Courts
Saturday's second semifinal matches No. 2 Willamette, 12-5 on the season, against No. 3 Whitworth, which sports an 11-9 record overall.
The two teams met just one time during the regular season with Willamette scoring a 6-3 decision over the Pirates on their home courts in Spokane.
The outcome of that meeting, which came in late February, was anything but decisive, however.
The Bearcats opened with a touch-and-go sweep in doubles, winning by the narrow margins of 8-5, 9-7 and 8-6, to earn what proved to be the deciding three team points.
Willamette and Whitworth then split the six singles matches, four of which went to three sets. One of the two matches settled in two sets was decided in a second-set tie-breaker.
(11-1 NWC, 12-5)
Third-year coach Toby Krauel fields a Bearcat roster that includes a handful of players from the team that dropped a 5-1 decision to Whitman in the finals of last year's post-season tournament.
Two of those returning players are sophomores Michael Baumgartner and Joshua Wong.
Baumgartner played most of the season at No. 1 singles, notching an 8-4 record against NWC opponents. Wong settled into the No. 2 spot, going 9-1 in conference matches.
Also back from last season are junior Cody Ferguson and senior Matthew Houser.
Ferguson, spending much of the season at No. 3 singles, won eight of 10 matches during the NWC regular season. Houser, playing mostly at No. 4 singles, is 9-2 in conference play.
Freshmen Garrett Vincent and Will Cooper made significant contributions in the lower half of the singles line-up.
Vincent played the bulk of his matches at No. 5 singles, amassing an 8-4 record overall in the NWC. Cooper, playing primarily at No. 6, is 5-6 in conference.
The Bearcats mixed and matched their doubles combos during the season. One combo, Houser and Baumgartner, are 6-0 in the NWC at No. 1 doubles.
Houser, who is 10-2 overall in NWC doubles, also teamed with Cooper to win four of six matches, mostly at No. 3.
Baumgartner, who played several matches with Ferguson, is 9-3 overall in doubles.
Wong teamed with both Ferguson and Vincent, winning three NWC decisions with both players.
(8-4 NWC, 11-9)
|Coach Mike Shanks
Junior Daniel Redfern and senior Colin Zalewski give veteran coach Mike Shanks a strong one-two punch at the top of his line-up.
Redfern played most of the spring at No. 1 singles and is 8-3 in the conference.
Zalewski has the same record while playing most of his matches in the No. 2 spot.
Sophomore Cameron Williams and senior Joe Wales bounced between the third and fourth slots. Williams is 9-2 in NWC matches while Wales is 7-4.
Senior Colin Barrett, a fixture at No. 5 singles, also has a 7-4 NWC record.
Henry Williams, another senior, gave the Pirates a battle-hardened player at No. 6. His record in conference matches is 5-2.
Redfern and Barrett filled the No. 1 doubles spot in recent weeks. They are 7-8 in NWC matches, half of which were played at No. 2.
Wales and Cameron Williams seem to have settled into the No. 2 doubles slot. They won four of their five conference matches, all played in the second spot.
Zalewski and Henry Williams are 3-0 as recent partners in NWC matches.
Wales and Zalewski also partnered in doubles, going 4-2 in conference matches.
Willamette sophomores Michael Baumgartner and Joshua Wong have made the All-NWC First Team in each of their first two seasons. Willamette's Cody Ferguson, now a junior, earned Second-Team honors this spring for the second time in three years. Senior Matt Houser received Honorable Mention this season.
Whitworth junior Daniel Redfern made the All-NWC First Team this season while senior teammate Colin Zalewski made the second team. Pirate senior Joe Wales, who was honored at the end of last season as the NWC's Male Sportsman of the Year, made the All-NWC Second-Team two years ago.
Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings
Willamette is No. 11 in the latest NCAA Division III West Region rankings. Whitworth is No. 15.
Willamette sophomore Michael Baumgartner is No. 28 in the West Region singles rankings.