WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Elise Otto, a first-year player on the Whitman College women's tennis team, has been named Northwest Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Otto, a graduate of Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, Wash., led Whitman to two NWC victories last weekend in Tacoma, Wash. She lost just five games in rolling to a pair of straight-set wins at No. 1 singles against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound opponents. That raised her NWC record at No. 1 singles to 12-2 on the season.

She also teamed with junior Margo Lentz (Missoula, Mont.; Hellgate HS) for decisive wins at No. 1 doubles. Otto and Lentz are 11-3 this season against conference foes.

Otto, ranked No. 13 in singles in the latest NCAA Div. III West Region rankings, won her first NWC Player of the Week honor in late February. That award was based in part on a three-set victory over Kasey Kuenzli, a senior at Linfield College and the 2006 NWC Player of the Year.

Whitman heads to the final weekend of the NWC regular season with a 10-4 record, tied for third place with Lewis & Clark and two victories back of second-place Whitworth and its 12-2 record. Lewis & Clark plays Whitworth Friday afternoon in Spokane, Wash., before coming to Whitman for a 1 p.m. Saturday showdown. Whitman then hosts Whitworth at 1 p.m. Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

In matches earlier this season, Whitman lost 5-4 to Lewis & Clark in Portland, Ore., and by a 6-3 count to Whitworth in Spokane, Wash.

Results of this weekend's matches could determine team seeding for the NWC Championships, slated for April 18-19 in Yakima, Wash. In the latest West Region team rankings, Whitman is No. 14.


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