Missionary women hand Willamette 6-3 defeat

Whitman's tennis team improves to 5-3 overall with the victory Saturday in Salem.

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SALEM - Whitman College won four of six singles matches on its way to defeating Willamette University, 6-3, in a Northwest Conference match at the WU Tennis Courts here Saturday.

Whitman upped its record to 5-3 overall, including 5-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 6-3 overall, 6-3 in the NWC.

In Friday action at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Whitman was down 2-1 after doubles and 4-1 early in singles play, but picked off the final four decisions in singles to escape with a 5-4 victory.

Lewis & Clark gained the early advantage in doubles, winning at No. 1 and No. 2.

"We played really well in doubles, so it was a shame to be down 2-1," Whitman coach John Hein said.

At No. 1 doubles, Amalia Nilsson and Whitney DeBree squeaked past Whitman's Elise Otto and Alyssa Roberg by a 9-8 (8-6) score.

The Pioneers posted another close win at No. 2, where Lisa Harunaga and Isabelle Borris edged Missionaries Divneet Kaur and Emily Rolston 8-6.

Hadley DeBree and Kate Kunkel-Patterson salvaged a team point for Whitman at No. 3, slipping past Jill Coleman and Maggie Peach 9-8 (7-5).

The Pioneers took the first two decisions in singles. Nilsson clipped Roberg 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1, and in a battle of the DeBree sisters at No. 3, Whitney outpointed Hadley 6-3, 6-0.

Otto started Whitman on its comeback with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Harunaga at No. 2 singles. Rolston narrowed the Missionary gap to 4-3 with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over Coleman at No. 5.

At No. 4, Kaur evened the match at 4-4 with a 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7) victory over Borris. Kaur trailed 5-2 in the first set before bouncing back to nip her opponent.

"Div fought so well and played very smart tennis," Hein said.

Kunkel-Patterson put the Missionaries over the top with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Peach at No. 6.

"Kate was a workhorse and really showed her improving game," Hein said. "More than the victory, I was proud of our continued growth as a team. This was the most composed and fun match we've had."

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