Women's Tennis Bolts to Big Lead, Coasts Past Comets 5-4

News Release Date:
Thursday, March 22

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A win is a win, but a 5-4 Whitman College women's tennis victory over UT-Dallas late Thursday in Richardson, Texas, followed a storyline that was anything but routine.

 Whitman 5,
 UT-Dallas 4

Match Scores

After beating Hardin-Simmons 8-1 earlier in the day, Whitman raced away to a 5-0 lead over UT-Dallas -- clinching the team victory -- but then dropped the last four decisions in singles in third-set super tie-breakers.

Olivia Bates

The 5-4 victory, which wasn't as close at the final score indicates, extends Whitman's winning streak to 10. The loss was the first of the season for the 5-1 Comets.

Whitman, now 10-2 on the season and ranked No. 10 in the West Region, grabbed an early 3-0 lead by sweeping all three matches in doubles.

Sophomore Olivia Bates made it 4-0 Whitman with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Stephanie Lu at No. 6 singles.

"This was the best I've seen Olivia compete," Whitman coach John Hein said. "She took her focus and intensity to a new level and it helped win us the match today."

First-year Missionary Courtney Lawless then clinched the team triumph with a 6-3, 6-0 over Jean-Jean Gwo at No. 2 singles.

All four of the singles matches still in progress went to a third set. Because the team result was no longer in doubt, the four third sets were played as abbreviated first-to-10 super tie-breakers.

Doubles partners Alyssa Roberg (front)
Courtney Lawless win at No. 1 vs Comets

In a battle of juniors at No. 1 singles, Rachel Houston rallied for a 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory over Whitman's Alyssa Roberg. Sophomore Mandy Tiu also rallied to win 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 at No. 3 singles, beating Morgan Lawless, one of Whitman's first-year players.

Juniors Megan Tan for UT-Dallas and Kate Kunkel-Pattereson for Whitman battled at No. 4 singles with Tan emerging at the end with a 6-3, 2-6, 11-9 decision.

Cindy Tie, a Comet sophomore, got the best of Whitman senior Emily Rolston at No. 5, winning 6-2, 36, 10-5.

The three opening matches in doubles were not especially close.

Roberg and Courtney Lawless were 8-3 winners at No. 2 doubles and Kunkel-Patterson joined first-year teammate Sara Finkleman to win by the same margin at No. 3.

"I was so happy to see Sara and Kate win in doubles to help us get the team victory," Hein said. "They are among the players who have worked tremendously hard to improve all aspects of their games."

Morgan Lawless and Rolston had an easy time at No. 2 doubles, winning 8-2.

Whitman continues its Spring Break trip on Friday when it plays No. 8 UT-Tyler.

The trip ends Saturday when the Missionaries battle No. 2 Trinity. In addition to its regional standing, Trinity is also ranked No. 13 at the national level.

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