By Eric Del Prado
The men’s tennis team had two matches this weekend, as they played the No. 33 ranked Lewis and Clark Pioneers on Saturday, March 11 in Portland and they hosted the Lutes of Pacific Lutheran on Sunday, March 12.
Saturday was all Pioneers as they were able to win 9-0, and they improved to 8-0 on the season. They are the only undefeated team in the vaunted Northwest Conference. The match got off to a bad start for the Bearcats as they were swept in No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Sophomore Aaron Schechter and senior Gunnar Lee lost 8-2, and juniors Jesse Mackinney and Derek Lund also lost their doubles match 8-2 and first-years Colin Fisher and Hunter Yee lost 8-0. The singles matches were more of the same, as the Pioneers were able to sweep the six sets, keeping all Bearcats under two games.
Sunday at the Willamette tennis courts, the Lutes beat the Bearcats 7-2 in a matchup between three Northwest Conference foes. The Bearcats were able to pull out a win in the doubles, as Lund and senior Douglas Hochmuth won 8-5. Lund attributes their success to, “Fighting in every match and getting into a position to win.”
Lee and Schechter lost a nail biter in their match as they fell 9-7, and Yee and Fisher also lost a heartbreaker by the score of 9-7. The singles matches were also all extremely close, as the Bearcats won four games in five matches, but the Lutes were able to come out on top in five of the six matches. Fisher was able to pull out the win for the Bearcats. He won a marathon of a match, 4-6, 6-3 and 10-4. They did not play a third set, replacing it with a super tiebreaker.
The next tennis match is set for Friday, March 17 as they play Colorado College in the friendly confines of the WU tennis courts. While they are about halfway through the season, Lund is looking forward to the rest of the season. “We have gotten better as a program and a team in my opinion just from last year, but so has everyone else. So how it all turns out at the end of this season will show us how much harder we need to work in order to crack our ranking,” he said.
The women’s tennis Team headed to Tacoma, Washington this weekend as they took on the University of Puget Sound Loggers and the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.
On Saturday the Bearcats were swept by the Loggers 9-0. However, No. 1 doubles match lived up to it’s billing as the Loggers edged out the Bearcats 8-6. Junior Mikaila Smith and sophomore Alexis Gjurasic were the ‘Cats that came so close to a victory in the match.
On Sunday, the Bearcats traveled to play the Lutes, but were defeated 8-1. Smith was the lone win for Willamette, as she won a great No. 1 singles match. She was able to come out a long match winning, 7-6(7-3), 2-6, 1-0 (10-7). While their season is not going how they hoped it would, sophomore Allie DiPasquale is staying confident.
“Unfortunately, scoring in tennis does not show the time and success of each point. Everyone is extremely good and our matches last a long time and are often very close, but our scores do not reflect our ability. We are looking forward to continuing to play and improve our game and work on having a more confident, winning mindset,” DiPasquale said.
The Bearcats play their next match on Friday against Colorado College, at the WU tennis courts.