Men’s tennis splits weekend matches at home

by Miranda Cloy

The Whitworth men’s tennis team continued its ride on an up and down season so far, splitting last weekend with a victory and a defeat. The matches against Linfield College and Pacific Lutheran University bring Whitworth to a Northwest Conference standing of 4-3.

The Pirates defeated the Linfield Wildcats 8-1 at the Whitworth Tennis Center last Friday. All Whitworth singles players were victorious, and five won in two sets. Linfield’s current NWC standing was 8th place at the time of the match.

“They put up more of a fight than I thought they would,” assistant coach Daniel Redfern said. “It was impressive, but [we] closed it out pretty well.”

Freshman Blake Miller won both sets 7-5 at No. 4 singles.

“My forehand came up big when I needed it to,” Miller said. “We knew were supposed to beat [Linfield], but we didn’t take it for granted.”

Sophomore Matt Goebel, who played No. 6 singles, took both sets against Linfield’s Lukas Kleinman, scoring 6-4 and 7-5.

“My opponent made me work for it,” Goebel said. “I did a good job of sticking to what was working. I was staying in the points, hitting deep shots, and bringing him up to the net whenever I could.”

The Pirates competed against Pacific Lutheran University last Saturday and were defeated 6-3 by the Lutes. Two of Whitworth’s matches were won in singles. Freshman Drew Brigham, who played No. 2 singles, won his match in two sets, sweeping PLU’s Luke Olson 6-2 and 6-1.

“I was playing well and [Olson] was never really in it,” Brigham said. “It’s always tough being ahead and not getting lazy. You have to stick with it.”

Brigham and his partner, senior Cameron Williams, continued a five-match winning streak by winning No. 1 doubles 8-6. Brigham and Williams have lost one conference match, while winning the other six. In their match against PLU, the doubles team came back from a three-point deficit to take the win.

“Coming back was tough,” Brigham said. “We had to execute a little better than what we were doing at the beginning.”

The Pirates will spend the week preparing to travel to Oregon next weekend. They will first meet Willamette who are fifth in the NWC standings. Whitworth will finish out the weekend in Oregon against Pacific (Ore.) who are sixth in the conference standings.

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