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|Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., is honored to serve as host of the 2012 Northwest Conference Women's Tennis Tournament, April 21-22, at the Linfield Tennis Center.
The four-team, single-elimination tournament will determine the NWC's automatic representative into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Ignoring Linfield’s rich pedigree in women’s tennis while writing some pretty good history of its own, Whitman captured the program’s first Northwest Conference tournament championship.
The ‘Cats, undefeated in conference play this season at 13-0 (13-5 overall) entered the match with an 8-4 record in NWC tournament title matches. Linfield had also defeated the Missionaries (17-4, 12-2 NWC) twice already this season.
But Whitman won when it counted the most, swiping two of three doubles flights and owning Nos. 2, 3 and 6 singles to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship.
At No. 2 doubles, Kaila and Kiana Nip won the first game, but from then on it was all Whitman as Morgan Lawless and Emily Rolston won the next eight to claim the 8-1 victory. It was the Nip sisters’ first loss to a Northwest Conference opponent this year.
Abby Olbrich and Caroline Brigham jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top doubles flight, but Alyssa Roberg and Courtney Lawless refused to go away. Trailing 5-2, the Whitman pair won six of the last seven games to stun the Wildcats 8-6.
Lexi Thomas and Kelly Watanabe made sure the ‘Cats remained within one point heading into singles, defeating Maddy Webster and Hannah Palkowitz by a score of 8-5.
The Lawless twins got it done for the Missionaries in singles play as well, as Courtney crushed Brigham 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Morgan tamed Thomas 6-1, 6-3 in the third flight.
Perhaps not wanting to play in the near 70-degree heat for much longer, Rolston helped Whitman finish off Linfield early with her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Gretchen Jernstedt at No. 6 singles.Semifinal #2: Whitman 5, Whitworth 0
Twin sisters Courtney and Morgan Lawless helped Whitman take care of business against Whitworth, winning their respective doubles matches as well as the two decisive singles matches as the Missionaries blanked the Pirates 5-0.
In singles, Courtney made quick work of Erica Bosman, silencing the latter by a score of 6-0, 6-0. Morgan was next to finish, toppling Jessi Steel 6-0, 6-2.
Courtney Lawless and Alyssa Roberg partnered for an 8-2 victory at No. 1 doubles over Whitworth’s Bosman and Alli Marshall. Meanwhile, Morgan Lawless and Emily Rolston rallied from a 4-3 deficit to defeat Steele and Saryn Mooney 8-6.
Maddy Webster and Hannah Palkowitz rounded out the doubles sweep for Whitman with an 8-4 decision over Megan Wingfield and Claire Hemming.
The four remaining singles flights were
Semifinal #1: Linfield 5, Willamette 0
Linfield’s Abby Olbrich and Caroline Brigham avenged their only NWC doubles defeat of the season, turning the tables on Sabrina Gutierrez and Shannon Palmer of Willamette by a score of 8-5.The No. 1 tandem led the Wildcats to a sweep in doubles action, leaving the ‘Cats needing just two singles victories to seal the deal and land a spot in Sunday’s championship match.
It was again Olbrich and Brigham who came through in singles, as the two won their respective matches in straight sets. Olbrich downed Palmer 6-0, 6-3 while Brigham dropped Gutierrez 6-3, 6-1.
The four remaining singles flights were left unfinished.
In other doubles action, sisters Kaila and
Kiana Nip blasted Emily Bee and Denise Poltavski 8-3 at No. 2 doubles. Lexi
Thomas and Kelly Watanabe finished Elise Derby and Emily Funabiki by a score of
|LINFIELD COLLEGE WILDCATS
12-4, 12-0 NWC
|WHITMAN COLLEGE MISSIONARIES
15-4, 10-2 NWC
| WHITWORTH UNIVERSITY PIRATES
13-5, 9-3 NWC
|WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY BEARCATS
7-9, 5-7 NWC
No pets allowed inside the tennis venue or surrounding walkways.
Only on-street parking is available so it's best to arrive early. Parking near the courts is often limited.
In accordance with Northwest Conference policies, artificial noisemakers are not permitted.
Excellent sportsmanship is expected from both participants and spectators associated with all teams.