The men’s tennis team stayed at home to take on Whitman College and Whitworth University, while the women’s team went on the road to take on the same schools in Walla Walla, WA and Spokane, WA, respectively. Willamette struggled against both schools, losing all four Northwest Conference (NWC) matches.
The visiting Whitman Blues downed the men’s tennis team, 9-0, this past Saturday, April 6, despite a hard-fought match in doubles. First-year Andrew Kabacy and senior Aaron Schechter almost pulled off the upset in the opening match of doubles against the 12th ranked Alex Hwang and Andreas Mueller-Immergluck. Kabacy and Schechter owned a 6-5 lead before Hwang and Mueller-Immergluck surged to take a 7-6 lead. The Bearcats battled back to tie the match at seven but dropped the tie-breaker, 7-4. The Blues swept the remaining eight matches in a convincing manner for the win.
The men’s team continued their homestand against the Whitworth Pirates on Sunday, April 7, losing 5-4 in a huge comeback by the visitors. Kabacy and Schechter won the first doubles match of the day in an 8-5 victory. Junior Colin Fisher and junior Gene Perle-Jones won by the same margin in their match, 8-5. Whitworth took the last doubles match, but Kabacy and Schechter continued their strong outings by each winning their singles match. However, Whitworth surged back from the 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 victory by sweeping the final four singles matches.
“We came very close to a team win today, so it was a bittersweet day,” Willamette Head Coach Rick Wood said in his interview with Robert McKinney. “The guys are working hard to get better, and it showed this weekend. I’m proud of the team.”
The Pirates improved to 4-11 overall (1-4 in the NWC), while the Bearcats dropped to 1-11 overall (1-3 NWC) to end the weekend.
The women’s tennis team started the weekend at Whitman on April 6, dropping all nine matches in the loss. The second doubles match proved to be the most competitive match of the day for Willamette. The Blues’ Kattie Pack and Lori Sheng held off the Bearcats’ sophomore Sylvia Marr and senior Alexis Gjurasic for an 8-5 victory. Sophomore Sarah Dean had the strongest performance in singles, losing 6-3 and 6-2 against Andrea Gu, ranked sixth in the nation. The Blues cruised in the other seven matches to sweep the visiting Bearcats.
The next day at Whitworth, the team didn’t fare much better. Sophomore Siena Ginsburg provided the only match victory of the day for Willamette in the third singles match. Ginsburg won the first set 6-2, but Emma Wiley took the second set 6-4. Facing off in a super-tiebreaker instead of a third set, Ginsburg triumphed 10-6. Ginsburg also teamed up with senior Hannah Adres to take on Whitworth’s Madelyn Parkey and Kyndal Locati in the only other competitive match of the day, losing 8-6. The Pirates triumphed convincingly in the other seven matches of the day to take the victory, 8-1. Whitworth improved to 8-5 on the season (4-1 NWC), while Willamette dropped to 3-7 (1-3 NWC) after the weekend’s action.
The men’s team’s next match is on the road at George Fox University this coming Saturday, April 13 at 12 p.m. (PST). The women’s team will also take on George Fox University at home the same day at 11 a.m. (PST).