by Miranda Cloyd
The Whitworth men’s tennis team ended their season with a loss and win, to finish with a record of 5-7 for the conference season. Last Friday, the Pirates met Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., and were bested with a 5-4 loss. The Pirates followed the loss with a 9-0 win over University of Puget Sound.
The match against PLU began with a 3-0 sweep in doubles. Winning all three doubles matches had been uncommon this season and gave the team a confidence boost, senior Cameron Williams said.
Williams and freshman Drew Brigham took the 8-5 win over their opponents at No. 1 doubles. While the pair struggled with returns, they were extremely successful serving, Brigham said.
“Our serves were solid,” Brigham said. “We didn’t get broken in that match.”
Williams went on to secure victory in his match at No. 1 singles, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. His match was the sole victory in singles, but in spite of the victory, he said he was not pleased with his play.
“I had problems getting my groundstrokes in the court,” Williams said. “I was making a lot of unforced errors.”
After the loss, the Pirates went on to meet UPS for a 9-0 sweep to complete the season.
Williams and Brigham again came out on top with an 8-3 win. They decided to try a different strategy than usual, in which both players stayed at the baseline instead of coming to the net during their opponents’ serves, Williams said.
“Normally we’re a pretty aggressive doubles team but we took a more conservative approach,” he said. “It took the pressure off of us to make a big shot. We just put the ball in play and let them miss.”
Brigham’s match at No. 2 singles ended in a two-set win, both scoring 6-3. Brigham’s strategy was to remain consistent in long points because that was where his opponent would make mistakes, he said.
“He definitely played better than the last time I played him,” Brigham said. “It was a challenge for the first half of both sets.”
The match not only marked the end of the team’s season, but also the end of two players’ tennis careers, seniors Williams and Micah Spaun.
“As soon as it was over, there was just this sigh of relief and not knowing what to think,” Williams said. “It was very exciting to have ended on the note that it did.”
Spaun played at No. 6 singles against UPS and took his final win 6-1, 6-2.
“It was definitely sad that I would be walking off the court for the last time,” Spaun said. “It’s been an amazing four years. I feel very blessed to have been a part of the team.”
Contact Miranda Cloyd at email@example.com