The Whitworth Pirates women’s tennis team picked up two conference wins over the weekend, beating the Bruins of George Fox University 8-1 and the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers 8-1 at the Scotford Tennis Center last Friday and Saturday. The Pirates improved to 5-0 in the Northwest Conference and 6-1 overall, tying Linfield College for first place in the conference.
“We’re getting into the flow of the season,” senior Alli Marshall said. “A couple of people were out with injuries, but others stepped up so the weekend went well.”
The Pirates extend their current conference win streak to 22 matches, with their last conference loss coming in 2010, that was a 5-4 loss at Linfield.
Marshall and senior Erica Bosman had a strong weekend. The two teamed up to win both of their doubles matches, improving their record to 5-2 on the year. Marshall and Bosman also won their singles matches Friday and Saturday. Marshall is now 5-2 in the No. 1 singles spot and Bosman is 5-1 in the No. 2 spot this season. The Bucs are 5-0 as a team this season when the No. 1 team of Marshall and Bosman win their doubles match.
“Winning doubles is really important because it sets the tone for the rest of the match,” Marshall said. “It takes some of the pressure off singles, so it’s always good to start off with a win.”
On Friday, the Pirates picked up a quality win at home against George Fox. The doubles teams kicked off the match with three straight wins, led by the No. 1 senior doubles team of Marshall and Bosman. Those two Pirates shut out the Bruin’s No. 1 doubles team, winning 8-0. Marshall later beat the Bruin’s No. 1 singles player, junior Molly Beaumont, 6-4, 6-2.
Freshman Saryn Mooney and junior Jessi Steele also had standout performances against the Bruins. The two combined for an 8-3 win in No. 2 doubles and each picked up a win in singles as Mooney won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles and Steele won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
Senior Claire Hemming kept her undefeated season alive by defeating George Fox’s freshman Chantelle Hadeed in No. 5 singles 7-5, 6-0. Hemming also teamed up with freshman Morgan McDivitt in No. 3 doubles, beating the Bruins No. 3 doubles squad 8-4.
“The men’s coach, Mike Shanks, told me that ‘you need to be playing to win, instead of playing not to lose’ so I just say that to myself before serves to maintain my mental toughness,” Hemming said.
Senior Janell Talbot closed out Friday’s match in No. 6 singles, winning 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-2).
Whitworth matched Friday’s performance on Saturday, notching another 8-1 win against Lewis & Clark.
“We got to play outside and rest a couple of our top players, and we still won 8-1,” head coach Jo Ann Wagstaff said.
Marshall and Bosman finished the weekend the way they started it, winning 8-3 in the No. 1 doubles slot. The two also won their singles. Marshall beat Pioneer freshman Lisa Osepyan in No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-0 and Bosman, currently on a four-game singles win streak, won her No. 2 singles match against senior Jill Coleman 6-4, 6-1.
Whitworth’s No. 3 and No. 5 singles players each pulled out three-set thrillers on Saturday. Mooney, who improves to 4-2 in singles on the season, defeated Pioneer freshman Gillian Lowe 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5) in No. 3 singles.
“Saryn was playing a powerful player with a huge serve and we were trying to figure out ways to make her force some errors,” Wagstaff said. “Saryn was the more mentally tough player in the end.”
Two matches later, senior Siri Carlson improved to 2-0 in the No. 5 singles spot, as she beat Lewis & Clark freshman Justine Minette 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4).
“The weather was more of a factor with Siri’s match,” Wagstaff said. “The wind was blowing and she used the wind to her advantage. Siri was the better player; it was just getting used to the elements.”
Carlson and Hemming added another win in the No. 3 doubles spot, winning 8-1. Both Carlson and Hemming have gone undefeated in doubles this season, Carlson improving to 2-0 and Hemming earning her seventh doubles win.
“We played really well,” Hemming said. “We weren’t sure how this weekend was going to go because our competition was better than it was last year. We had some close matches but we stayed with them.”
The Pirates will travel to Oregon as they take on the Bearcats of Willamette University on Friday and the Linfield College Wildcats on Saturday, trying to claim sole possession of first place in the Northwest Conference.
“This was a good setup weekend for next weekend’s matches,” Hemming said. “It was definitely a confidence booster to do as well as we did.”
Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer
Photo by David Rurik
Contact Nathan Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org.