Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams played their final matches this past weekend. Both teams suffered tough losses on Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21.
On Saturday, the men’s team traveled to McMinnville, OR to face Linfield College. Despite playing in some close matches, the Bearcats fell, 8-1. In the first doubles match, senior Aaron Schechter and first-year Andrew Kabacy battled Luis Rojas and Nathan Saragoza in a highly competitive match, in which Rojas and Saragoza won with a tie-breaker, 8-7 (7-4). In the second doubles match, juniors Colin Fisher and Gene Perle-Jones came up short against J.T. Barcellos and Eric Rutherford.
In the singles competition, Schechter played another tight match with Saragoza, in which Saragoza pulled out after winning another tie-breaker, 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9). Perle-Jones won his match, defeating J.T. Barcellos in three sets, 0-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7) to give WU its only win of the day. The Wildcats improved to 8-7 overall and 4-4 in the Northwest Conference (NWC).
The Bearcats were at home for their final match against Pacific University, in which they suffered another 8-1 loss. In doubles, Koby and Rayden Murata defeated Kabacy and Schechter, 8-2. In the first singles match, Kabacy and Reyn Miyagawa battled in two tight sets. Miyagawa won the first set 6-4 and inched out a victory in the second set via a tie-breaker, 7-6 (7-5). Schecter won his match over Garret Katayama, 6-2, 6-0. This was the final match of Schechter’s Willamette career. Perle-Jones played to three sets in his match, but fell short to Reece Parr, 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7). Sophomore Luke Hiserman played to two sets with Rich Cooper, losing 7-5, 6-3.
Pacific University’s record stands at 11-8 overall and 6-2 in the NWC. The Bearcats finished their season 1-14 and 1-7 in the NWC. Head Coach Rick Wood told Rober McKinney in a post-game interview that he was proud of his team, specifically mentioning seniors Schechter and Endy Zarate. “I appreciate all the effort and hard work from the boys,” said Wood.
The women’s team played in Portland, OR on Saturday against Lewis & Clark College (L&C). After losing two tie-breakers in doubles competition, the Bearcats fell to L&C, 7-2.
“It was a war, we almost won all three doubles. It was a great match for us… so close,” said WU Head Coach Bryce Parmelly.
In the first doubles match, sophomore Sarah Dean and Robin Pashek faced Madelyn Landerfelt and Riley Hanks in a match that Landerfelt and Hanks won on a tie-breaker, 8-7 (7-4). In the second doubles match, senior Alexis Gjurasic and sophomore Slyvia Marr also played to a tie-breaker, which was won by Rachael Rice and Carla Thomas, 8-7 (11-9). Sophomore Siena Ginsburg and senior Hannah Andres won their match, defeating Caroline Hennes and Caitlin Jones, 8-4.
In singles competition, Dean defeated Landerfelt in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. Lewis & Clark turned the momentum, however, and won the last five singles matches en route to their victory. Their record sat at 5-7 and 4-3 in the NWC with the win.
On Sunday, the women’s team was also at home for their final match of the season, playing against Linfield college. The Wildcats came into the match ranked 29th in NCAA Division III play and boasted a 14-2 overall record, they were also undefeated in the NWC at 7-0. The Bearcats were outmatched, losing 9-0. They finished the season 4-10 overall, and 2-6 in the NWC. Seniors who played their final match for Willamette included Rachel Kong, Alexis Gjurasic and Hannah Andres.