WALLA WALLA - A strong start in doubles and dominating performance by the bottom half of the singles line-up carried Whitman College to a 7-2 victory over Willamette University in a Saturday afternoon battle of undefeated men's tennis teams on the Whitman outdoor courts.
Whitman, the two-time defending NWC champion, improved to 4-0 in the NWC and 5-1 overall.
Willamette slipped to 6-1 in conference and 6-3 on the season.
Whitman dropped just five games in sweeping the three opening matches in doubles.
Senior Jake Cappel and freshman Jeff Tolman won 8-0 at No. 3, and senior Christoph Fuchs and junior Quin Miller were 8-2 winners at No. 2.
Senior Matt Solomon and junior Etienne Moshevich held an 8-3 upper hand at No. 1 doubles, subduing Willamette's talented first-year players, Michael Baumgartner and Josh Wong.
Whitman then took the first two decisions in singles to clinch the team victory.
Junior Chris Bailey downed Matt Houser 6-0, 6-2 at No. 4 and Tolman won a topsy-turvey match at No. 2, beating Cody Ferguson 7-6 (7-2), 0-6, 6-4.
But Wong got past Moshevich 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 and Baumgartner outlasted Solomon 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-3 at No. 1.
In the final two matches, Fuchs downed Luke Lagattuta 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5 while Whitman freshman Sam Sadeghi was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Micah Mack at No. 6.
Whitman continues NWC play at 1 p.m. today when it hosts Lewis & Clark.