WALLA WALLA - A sweep of the opening round of doubles propelled the Whitman College men's tennis team to a 5-0 semifinal victory over Pacific University here Saturday on the Whitman outdoor courts in Northwest Conference playoff action.
Top-seeded Whitman, now 15-6 on the season, advances to play second-seeded Willamette, which downed Whitworth 5-1 in the second semifinal match.
The Boxers, which finished fourth in the NWC regular season, end their dual match season at 8-9 overall.
Whitman and Willamette meet at 11 a.m. this morning on Whitman's outdoor courts in the playoff finals. The winner gets the NWC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national championship field.
In the only meeting between the two teams during the regular season, Whitman coasted to a 9-0 victory over Willamette in a match played in Salem, Ore.
In Saturday's match against Pacific, Conor Holton-Burke and Andrew La Cava led the charge for Whitman at No. 1 doubles with an 8-4 victory over Troy Zuroske and Spencer Hing.
Up 5-4, the top Whitman duo reeled off three straight games to finish its win. La Cava served out the final game.
Whitman's Etienne Moshevich and teammate Jeff Tolman notched the day's first team point with a quick 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles, downing Pacific's Michael Okada and Scott Kawamura.
Playing for Whitman at No. 3 doubles, Quin Miller and Matt Tesmond also won by an 8-2 score, finishing just a few minutes after completion of the No. 2 doubles bout. Alen Suklje and Patrick Kinghorn played at No. 3 for Pacific.
With Whitman up 3-0 after doubles, the first four flights of singles took to the courts.
After La Cava made it 4-0 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Okada at No. 2 singles, Moshevich notched the clinching fifth team point with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kawamura at No. 4.
Once the team decision was settled, matches underway at No. 1 and No. 4 singles were left unfinished.
Whitman 5, Pacific 0
Singles - Holton-Burke, Conor (WTMN) vs Zuroske, Troy (PAC) 6-4, 1-2, unfinished; La Cava, Andrew (WTMN) def. Hing, Spencer (PAC) 6-3, 6-0; Moshevich, Etienne (WTMN) def. Okada, Michael (PAC) 6-1, 6-1; Tolman, Jeff (WTMN) vs. Kawamura, Scott (PAC) 7-6 (7-1), 5-1, unfinished; Sadeghi, Sam (WTMN) vs. Furuya, Eric (PAC) unfinished; Borshansky, Adriel (WTMN) vs. Suklje, Alen (PAC) unfinished.
Doubles - La Cava, Andrew/Holton-Burke, Conor (WTMN) def. Zuroske, Troy/Hing, Spencer (PAC) 8-4; Moshevich, Etienne/Tolman, Jeff (WTMN) def. Kawamura, Scott/Okada, Michael (PAC) 8-2; Miller, Quin/Tesmond, Matt (WTMN) def. Kinghorn, Patrick/Suklje, Alen (PAC) 8-2.