Whit Women's Tennis Takes Down Higher Ranked UT-Tyler
News Release Date:
Friday, March 23
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College women's tennis team made some headway up the NCAA Division III West Region rankings with a 6-3 victory at the University of Texas-Tyler Friday afternoon at the Summers Tennis Center.
Whitman, ranked No. 10 in the West Region, won its 11th consecutive match, improving to 11-2 on the season.
UT-Tyler, which holds a No. 8 regional ranking, saw its record fall to 6-4.
"This was such a great match today," Whitman coach John Hein said. "UT-Tyler is a very tough team."
In extending its longest winning streak in more than two decades, Whitman got the early jump by winning two close decisions in doubles to move in front 2-1.
Junior Alyssa Roberg and first-year teammate Courtney Lawless collected an 8-6 victory at No. 1 doubles, beating Sydni Hermsdorf and Amy Friesenhahn.
Senior Emily Rolston and Morgan Lawless, another of Whitman's first-year players, won by the same score at No. 2 doubles, edging Jessica Blundell and Jennifer Payne.
"Tyler has a lot of big hitters so they are dangerous in doubles," Hein said. "I was especially proud of how composed our top two teams were today.
"At No. 2, Emily and Morgan were up 7-4, lost two games but held Emily's serve to win the match. At No. 1, we stayed in front the whole time then played the best game of the match to finish that win."
UT-Tyler bounced back with the first decision in singles, squaring the team score at 2-2.
Whitman moved back in front 4-2 when Roberg at No. 2 singles and Morgan Lawless at No. 3 finished quick victories, winning by the same 6-1, 6-3 scores. Maddy Webster, a third first-year Missionary, then notched the clinching fifth team point with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph at No. 6 singles.
Shortly thereafter, Courtney Lawless put the finishing touches on a 6-4, 6-4 win over Friesenhahn in the featured match at No. 1 singles.
The match at No. 4 singles went to a third set with Jennifer Payne rallying past Whitman junior Kate Kunkel-Patterson 5-7, 6-2, 11-9. "I'm really proud of how Kate played against an opponent who has some big weapons, even though she lost a narrow super tie-breaker for the third set," Hein said.
UT-Tyler also got the win at No. 5 singles, where Rolston lost 6-1, 6-0 to Brittany Trich.
The Patriots tallied their other team point at No. 3 doubles, where Ashley Albro and Morgan Wilkins got past Webster and sophomore Hannah Palkowitz by an 8-3 count.
"Overall, our mental toughness and fitness were evident today," Hein said. "We got the lead in doubles, and then our fight and composure carried over to singles."
Whitman finishes its Spring Break trip to Texas Saturday morning when it plays Trinity at Tyler Junior College. Trinity is ranked No. 2 in the region and No. 13 in the nation.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org