SPOKANE - After staking itself to a 2-1 lead in doubles, Whitworth retained command in singles and finished off a 6-3 Northwest Conference women's tennis victory over Whitman College here Sunday afternoon.
With two matches left in the regular season, Whitman remains in third place in the NWC with a 7-3 mark (9-8 overall).
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start in doubles, but it was good, close match all the way," Whitman coach John Hein said. "There were a lot of good battles."
The Missionaries scored their doubles team point at No. 3, where first-year junior Lizzy Schiller and first-year teammate Hannah Palkowitz notched an 8-5 victory over Claire Hemming and Megan Wingfield.
Whitworth's Rachel Burns and Alli Marshall got the win at No. 1 doubles, edging Whitman senior Elise Otto and sophomore Alyssa Roberg 8-6. A month ago in Walla Walla, Otto and Roberg raced past Burns and Marshall by an 8-3 margin.
In Sunday's No. 2 doubles match, junior Emily Rolston and sophomore Kate Kunkel-Patterson dropped an 8-2 decision to Erica Bosman and Katie Staudinger.
The two sides split the first two decisions in singles, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead in the team scoring.
Otto beat Marshall 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 but Bosman shot past Kunkel-Patterson in two quick sets at No. 3.
Whitworth stretched its lead to 4-2 when Burns rallied for a 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-2 win over Roberg at No. 1 singles.
Whitman closed to 4-3 when Rolston got the win at No. 4, downing Staudinger 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
Wingfield tallied the clinching fifth team point for the Pirates at No. 5. With the team competition already settled, Whitworth's Siri Carlson squeezed past Palkowitz 6-4, 7-5 at No. 6.
Whitman finishes its NWC slate with matches at Pacific Lutheran next Friday (3:30 p.m.) and at Puget Sound on Saturday (11 a.m.).
The Missionaries also have an exhibition match on Friday morning at Bellevue Community College.
"We're looking forward to finishing the season with a few more wins and getting one of the four spots in the NWC playoffs," Hein said.
Whitworth 6, Whitman 3
SINGLES - Rachel Burns, Whitworth, def. Alyssa Roberg, Whitman, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-2; Elise Otto, Whitman, def. Alli Marshall, Whitworth, 6-3, 6-4; Erica Bosman, Whitworth, def. Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whitman, 6-1, 6-0; Emily Rolston, Whitman, def. Katie Staudinger, Whitworth, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; Megan Wingfield, Whitworth, def. Lizzy Schiller, Whitman, 6-3, 6-0; Siri Carlson, Whitworth, def. Hannah Palkowitz, Whitman, 6-4, 7-5.
DOUBLES - Rachel Burns/Alli Marshall, Whitworth, def. Elise Otto/Alyssa Roberg, Whitman, 8-6; Katie Staudinger/Erica Bosman, Whitworth, def. Emily Rolston/Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whitman, 8-2; Hannah Palkowitz/Lizzy Schiller, Whitman, def. Claire Hemming/Megan Wingfield, Whitworth, 8-5.