Whits Turn Tables on 'Cats With Big Win

News Release Date:
Friday, April 16

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After twice dropping one-point decisions to the Wildcats during the regular season, the Whitman College women's tennis team bumped off Linfield when it counted with a 5-4 triumph in Friday's semifinals of the Northwest Conference Tennis Tournament at the Yakima (Wash.) Tennis Club.

  Whitman 5,
  Linfield 4

Match Scores

Running its season record to 16-8, Whitman advances to the tournament title match against Whitworth at noon Saturday. In Friday's other semifinal, Whitworth blanked Lewis & Clark 5-0. 

With its season record falling to 15-5, Linfield dropped into a Saturday morning consolation match against Lewis & Clark. 


Whitman's fortunes did not look good early against Linfield, which won two of the three opening matches in doubles to take a 2-1 lead.

Junior Elise Otto and first-year teammate Alyssa Roberg picked off the lone Missionary point in doubles with an impressive 8-5 victory in the No. 1 slot, beating Linfield's top two players, Abby Olbrich and Sallie Katter.

Emily Rolston

The Wildcats won by the same 8-5 count at No. 2 doubles, and then seized the early momentum with a 9-8 (7-3) victory at No. 3.

The two sides split the first two decisions in singles, giving Linfield a 3-2 lead. Olbrich downed Roberg 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 singles, but senior Divneet Kaur continued her strong play with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 4.

Sophomore Emily Rolston stormed through her match at No. 5 singles, winning 6-1, 6-2 to square the match at 3-3.

Linfield moved back in front 4-3 when Sophie Larson outlasted senior Hadley DeBree 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at No. 3 singles. Soon thereafter, Otto overcame Katter 6-3, 6-4 in another tough match at No. 2 to make it 4-all in the team scoring

That left the team decision in the hands of No. 6 singles, where first-year Missionary Kate Kunkel-Patterson rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 marathon triumph over Linfield junior Sarah Watanabe. 

Kunkel-Patterson, playing in her home town, had her own private cheering section that included her mom, Annie Kunkel, and grandparents, Joanne and Ed Kunkel.

Kunkel-Patterson and her two sisters learned to play tennis from their grandfather.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu