The men’s tennis team ended the season by shutting out both the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University at home last weekend. Whitworth swept Puget Sound 9-0 Saturday, in what turned into a one-sided victory outside at the Scotford Tennis Center.
“For both doubles and singles we had a rough season not getting into the top four of conference,” junior Drew Brigham said. “So today we had a desire to prove that we are better than our No. 5 ranking.”
Brigham started off the day with an 8-1 win in his doubles match partnered with senior Matt Goebel, and then dominated his singles match, winning both sets, 6-1. The Bucs swept through their matches with ease, winning all three of their doubles matches and not dropping a single set in any of their six singles matches.
The Bucs were knocked out of the playoffs with their loss to Pacific University last week, so the competition last weekend had no bearing on their playoff hopes. The win bumped Whitworth up to 5-6 in the Northwest Conference, and dropped Puget Sound’s Conference record to 0-12.
Sophomore Shane Sandlin also had a dominant performance, winning his doubles match with junior Drew Adams, 8-2, and his singles match in two quick sets.
“In doubles, my first serve percentage was important, while in singles, I focused on hitting to my opponent’s backhand, since he had a very powerful forehand,” Sandlin said. “I think my consistency has gotten better throughout the season as I have been focusing on not going too big when I don’t need to.”
Whitworth blew out PLU, 9-0, in their final match of the season with Senior Day on Sunday at the Scotford Tennis Center.
“In doubles, Drew and I were really aggressive and attacked the net well, while in singles I focused on hitting it to my opponent’s backhand, attacking and hitting winners,” Goebel said. “It’s going to be different leaving Whitworth. I’ve made a lot of good friends and had a lot of great experiences, but I’m looking forward to the next big adventure to see where life takes me.”
The Bucs started the day with three quick doubles win, as Goebel won his match partnered with Brigham, 8-1, while junior Blake Miller and sophomore Caleb Hughes won their doubles match, 8-2. The Bucs then swept PLU, 6-0, in singles- every single match won in straight sets except for Brigham’s win in a tiebreak.
Adams won his singles match, 6-0, in both sets, while Goebel, Hughes, and Miller also had fairly comfortable matches. Sandlin also continued his run of success with a convincing win in straight sets.
Goebel was not the only senior to finish his Whitworth career today, as fellow senior Chris Engelmann cheered on his teammates on the sideline, while continuing to recover from a knee injury.
“These are two seniors that for the rest of our lives I can easily call friends,” Coach Shanks said. “They weren’t just players. They will leave an indelible mark on the fabric of this team for years to come.”