REDLANDS, Calif. - The University of Redlands, ranked No. 17 nationally, won a handful of close matches and slipped past the Whitman College women's tennis team 8-1 Thursday afternoon in Redlands, Calif.
Whitman, now 9-6 on the season, came close to taking two of three matches in the opening round of doubles.
Junior Elise Otto and first-year teammate Alyssa Roberg scored a big win at No. 1 doubles with an 8-6 victory over Redlands seniors Paige Sumida and Whitney Waters, the top-ranked doubles duo in the West Region.
Otto and Roberg, ranked No. 13 in the west, powered their way to a 7-4 lead and held off their Bulldog opponents at the end.
Sophomore Emily Rolston and first-year Missionary Kate Kunkel-Patterson also came within a game of winning at No. 3 doubles. But senior Sutton Anderson and sophomore Nicole Gerantine rallied for a 9-7 triumph.
At No. 2 doubles, Bulldog junior Rachael Miller and Sara Yoshinaga got past Whitman seniors Divneet Kaur and Hadley DeBree by an 8-3 count. As a doubles duo, Miller and Yoshinga are ranked ninth in the west.
Ahead 2-1 after doubles, Redlands swept the six matches in singles, although most of those wins did not come easily.
Sumida, ranked No. 6 in singles in the west, edged Roberg 7-6, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.
At No. 2 singles, fourth-ranked Miller downed Otto 6-3, 7-5.
Other close matches came at No. 3, where Waters bested DeBree 6-4, 6-3, and at No. 6, where Gerentine took a 6-3, 6-4 win from Kunkel-Patterson.
Redlands, now 7-5 on the season, holds a No. 3 team ranking in the region. Whitman is No. 12.
Whitman returns home this weekend for three Northwest Conference matches, starting with two against George Fox on Saturday. The Missionaries are 7-2 in the NWC while George Fox is 0-9.
Two victories on Saturday would move Whitman into a second-place tie with Linfield. First-place Whitworth brings a 10-0 conference record to town on Sunday for a 1 p.m. showdown with the Missionaries.