WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Whitman College women's tennis team, 12-9 on the season and 10-4 in the Northwest Conference, hosts its final two home matches of the regular season this weekend, and both matches could have a bearing on seeding for the following weekend's conference championships.

Whitman women's tennis, spring 2008 (l-r): assistant coach Amy Kunkel-Patterson, Elise Otto, Hadley DeBree, Divneet Kaur, Jacquie Frank, Alex Robinson, Katie Oost, and coach Hannah Swee.

Whitman, tied for third at the moment with Lewis & Clark, hosts the Pioneers at 1 p.m. Saturday. Before coming to Walla Walla, however, Lewis & Clark plays second-place Whitworth late Friday afternoon in Spokane. Whitworth begins the weekend with a 12-2 NWC record.

Whitman welcomes Whitworth to town Sunday for what stands as the regular season finale for both teams. That match also starts at 1 p.m. Both of Whitman's weekend matches are slated for the outdoor courts, weather permitting (Bratton Tennis Center in the case of rain).

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.

Elise Otto, a first-year player, has posted a 12-2 NWC record this season at No. 1 singles. She faces a stiff test Saturday when she faces Lewis & Clark's Amalia Nilsson, a first-year player from Stockholm, Sweden. Nilsson is 14-0 this conference season at No. 1 singles. Nilsson edged 6-4, 7-5 in the first meeting between the two schools.

Katie Oost, a Whitman junior has played at No. 4 and No. 5 singles this spring, takes a 12-1 NWC singles record into this weekend's matches. Sophomores Hadley DeBree and Divneet Kaur are both 11-3 in their conference matches. DeBree had played exclusively at No. 2 while Kaur has played most of her matches at No. 3 and No. 4. Alex Robinson, a junior, is 10-4 in the fifth and sixth slots.

Otto and junior Margo Lentz have been a constant at No. 1 doubles, rolling to an 11-3 record against conference opposition. DeBree and junior Jacquie Frank have posted a 5-1 NWC mark in recent weeks at No. 2 doubles, while Kaur and Oost have been 4-0 at No. 3.

In the ITA's latest NCAA Div. III rankings (March 18), Whitman is No. 14 in the West Region, one spot behind Whitworth.

In the latest singles rankings, Otto is No. 13 in the West Region.

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