Pirates Prevail in Battle of Tennis Whits
News Release Date:
Sunday, February 21
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- If Sunday's showdown in Spokane between Whitman and Whitworth is any indication, the rest of the Northwest Conference women's tennis season should be a doozy.
Whitworth, the defending NWC champs, overcame a 2-1 deficit after doubles and won the final decision in singles to claim a 5-4 victory.
The Pirates improved to 3-0 in the NWC, 3-2 overall, while Whitman slipped to 2-1 in conference and 2-2 on the young season.
Whitman seized the early advantage with victories in the top two matches in doubles. Junior Elise Otto and senior Divneet Kaur teamed for an 8-4 win in the No. 1 match while senior Hadley DeBree and first-year Missionary Alyssa Roberg were 8-5 winners at No. 2.
Whitworth salvaged a team point at No. 3 doubles, where Katie Staudinger and Megan Wingfield slipped past sophomore Emily Rolston and first-year teammate Kate Kunkel-Patterson by an 8-6 score.
Whitman retained its one-point lead when the two teams split the first two decisions in singles. Roberg breezed to a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 2, but Otto fell 6-4, 6-1 in a battle against Rachel Burns at No. 1.
Whitworth moved in front 4-3 with straight set wins at No. 4 and No. 6, but Rolston squared the match at 4-all with a three-set triumph at No. 5. Rolston scrambled past Staudinger 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-3 to give the Pirate junior her first-ever loss to an NWC opponent.
The deciding match came at No. 3 singles, where DeBree and Mya Towne battled through a three-set marathon that lasted nearly four hours. After DeBree won the first set 7-5, Towne took the second set 7-6 (7-2). With the third set tied at 5-5, Towne won the final two games to give Whitworth the victory.
Both teams stay in western Washington next weekend to host the same pair of NWC opponents.
Whitworth welcomes Pacific on Friday and Linfield on Saturday. Whitman hosts Pacific at noon Saturday and Linfield at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Linfield and Pacific are both viewed as among a handful of teams with the talent to finish somewhere in what promises to be a congested top half of the conference standings.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org