Women's Tennis Downs L & C, Improves to 3 - 0 in Conference
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - When the Whitman women's tennis team trounced the defending NWC champion Linfield Wildcats 8-1 last weekend, they plastered a target squarely on their backs. Today, the Lewis and Clark Pioneers–boasting one of the top 10 recruiting classes in all of Division III– came to Bratton Tennis Center to take their shot. So far, the Whit women are up to the challenge.
Alyssa Roberg, Sr.
In the doubles portion, Whitman's 10th-ranked doubles duo of Alyssa Roberg (Santa Cruz, CA) and Courtney Lawless (Austin, TX) put Whitman out in front with an 8-2 victory over Lewis and Clark's Aurora Garrison and Gillian Lowe at No. 1. First-years Kate Rubinstein (Portland, OR) and Katrina Allick (San Fransisco, CA) spotted Whitman a 2-0 cushion at No. 3 by prevailing 8-5 over Pioneers Lisa Osepyan and Izzy Borris. Lewis and Clark remained in contention, however, when Olivia Cornell and Claudia Lew topped first-year Jenna Dobrin (Camarillo, CA) and sophomore Morgan Lawless (Austin, TX) 8-6 at No. 2. The young Whits were valiant in defeat, staving off multiple match points with Lew serving at 7-6 and holding several break opportunities before finally succumbing.
Once singles started, the formidable top half of Whitman's lineup quickly put the match out of reach. Dobrin rebounded from her doubles defeat with a hasty 6-0, 6-1 win over Lowe to make it 3-1 at No. 4. Shortly thereafter, Morgan Lawless put the finishing touches on a 6-0, 6-3 win over Claudia Lew at No. 3. Roberg clinched the match with a tenacious 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Cornell at No. 2, while Courtney Lawless muscled past Garrison 6-4, 6-3 at the top rung. It is worth noting that Lewis and Clark's top three singles players are all first-years and are sure to improve as the year progresses. At No. 5, sophomore Maddy Webster (Long Beach, CA) held on to beat Osepyan 7-5, 6-4.
Morgan Lawless, So.
Whitman suffered its only singles defeat at No. 6 where Kate Kunkel-Patterson (Yakima, WA) fell to Borris in a battle of seniors. The two veterans battled throughout both sets, but the Pioneer broke free at the end of each to win 6-4, 6-3.
The win moves Whitman to 4-1 on the season and 3-0 in conference. With wins over their two chief rivals–Linfield and Lewis & Clark– the Missionaries have put themselves in the driver's seat to win the conference championship. By virtue of the conference's "round robin and a half" scheduling, Whitman plays both teams just once this year and will hold the edge over both in lieu of a tie at the end of the season.
The Majority of this story was written by Robert Holton-Burke.
Final: Whitman 7, Lewis and Clark 2
1. WC Courtney Lawless/Alyssa Roberg def. LC Aurora Garrison/Gillian Lowe 8-2
2. LC Olivia Cornell/Claudia Lew def. WC Morgan Lawless/Jenna Dobrin 8-6
3. WC Kate Rubinstein/Katrina Allick def. LC Lisa Osepyan/Izzy Borris 8-5
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
1. WC C. Lawless def. LC Garrison 6-4, 6-3
2. WC Roberg def. LC Cornell 6-4, 6-2
3. WC M. Lawless def. LC Lew 6-0, 6-3
4. WC Dobrin def. LC Lowe 6-0, 6-1
5. WC Maddy Webster def. LC Osepyan 7-5, 6-4
6. LC Borris def. WC Kate Kunkel-Patterson 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2, 1, 5, 6