Men’s tennis opens conference play

by Miranda Cloyd

The Whitworth men’s tennis team experienced both victory and loss in this weekend’s matches against Lewis & Clark and George Fox. After Friday’s 5-4 win and Saturday’s 6-3 loss, the Pirates are 1-1 in NWC play. In the first conference match for both teams, Whitworth came out on top against Lewis & Clark.

Freshman Drew Brigham has begun his season with a bang. He won his match convincingly Friday with a 6-0 and 6-2 against Lewis & Clark’s Carter Gee-Taylor.

“I just started out strong and played the rest of the match pretty solidly,” Brigham said. “I got the ball rolling in singles early and kept that energy alive.”

Brigham’s winning streak continued through his contribution to the doubles competition with his partner, senior Cameron Williams. Brigham and Williams, the No. 1 doubles team, are undefeated so far. Both Friday and Saturday’s games came to the same score of 8-3 in favor of Williams and Brigham.’

Though Saturday’s match against George Fox ended in loss, Whitworth’s top three positions all competed in close three-set games. One out of these three games, Brigham’s sets against Shawn Aldrich, ended in victory.

“If we had won two of three of those, we could have picked up a win somewhere else,” assistant coach Daniel Redfern said. “It really came down to those three matches for the most part. That was really what decided it.”

In spite of Saturday’s loss, the team spoke positively of their upcoming season.

“We can hang right in there with anybody,” Redfern said. “It should be a nice little confidence boost.”

“[Friday’s] match being so close and such an emotional victory was a really good way for us to start off the season and really get excited about the team matches to come because it made us realize how important each individual match is,” Williams said.

Whitworth is scheduled next to compete against Pacific University at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Whitworth Tennis Center.

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