by Nathan Webber
The Whitworth women’s tennis team opened Northwest Conference play strong on Friday and Saturday as they defeated University of Puget Sound 7-2 and Pacific Lutheran University 9-0 being led by a few Pirate seniors.
“It’s a really good way to start the season,” senior Alli Marshall said.
Whitworth moved into a tie for first place in the conference with the two wins and are now 3-1 on the year and 2-0 in the NWC.
“The weekend went well,” assistant coach Colin Storm said. “Winning our first two conference games is always nice. We saw some spaces where we can improve and but we’re happy we came away with two wins.”
This year, Whitworth has been dominant in their wins as they have beaten their opponents 9-0, 7-2, 9-0 in three wins, two on the road.
“It’s big for our confidence when we can win outside of our bubble,” Storm said.
On Friday, Marshall beat the Loggers No. 1 singles player 6-1, 7-5 and senior Erica Bosman defeated UPS’s No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-3. Marshall and Bosman combined in No. 1 doubles to defeat the Loggers No.1 doubles 8-2.
“UPS played us tough so it’s always good to get a win out of there,” Storm said.
Those two again teamed up against PLU in No.1 doubles, beating the Lutes 8-2. In singles, Bosman controlled her singles match, defeating the Lutes No.2 player 6-2, 6-3 in straight sets. Marshall had a close match-up against the Lutes No.1 player, but came out on top winning 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (11-9).
“That match was too close for comfort,” Marshall said. “I started out not being on my game at all so I had to adopt a new game. I’m really proud of the team though, the other girls had tough matches too and everyone pulled [wins] out.”
Senior Claire Hemming continued her undefeated streak the season, winning all four matches she played on the weekend. On Friday she defeated UPS’s Ada Yu 6-2, 6-3 in singles and combined with freshman Saryn Mooney in doubles to defeat the Loggers No.3 doubles team 8-4. Hemming defeated the Lutes Catherine Miolla 6-0, 6-2 and defeated the Lutes No.2 doubles team with junior Megan Wingfield 8-6. Hemming is now 7-0 on the year.
The Bucs’ Wingfield defeated UPS’s Marissa Friedman 7-5, 6-4 and junior Jessi Steele defeated Logger Josephine Dow 6-3, 6-4 in singles play on Friday. The two juniors also won on Saturday as Wingfield overwhelmed the Lutes No.4 singles player 6-0, 6-1 and Steele shut out her opponent winning 6-0, 6-0.
Those two wins came on the road which was huge for the Pirates.
“Winning on the road is really important,” Marshall said. “Conference is tougher this year than any other that I’ve been in. It also helps with team bonding, too, so it’s a good experience.”
The Pirates will stay home for their first conference home game of the 2012 season as they take on Pacific University (Ore.) on March 3.
Contact Nathan Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org.