WALLA WALLA - Winning the last three decisions in singles, Whitworth broke a 3-3 deadlock and claimed a 6-3 Northwest Conference women's tennis victory over Whitman College Saturday afternoon on the outdoor courts at Whitman.
Whitman is now 3-2 in the conference and 3-4 overall.
The Pirates led 2-1 on Saturday and extended their advantage to 3-1 when the first singles match to finish favored the visitors. Erica Bosman posted the victory at No. 3 singles, swinging her way past Whitman junior Emily Rolston 6-2, 6-1.
Whitman evened the team score at 3-3 by claiming the next two singles matches to finish. Sophomore Alyssa Roberg downed Alli Marshall 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and sophomore Kate Kunkel-Patterson kept the tide turning for Whitman with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Katie Staudinger at No. 4.
Shortly thereafter, Whitworth regained the lead for good when Rachel Burns polished off a 6-3, 6-3 win over Elise Otto in a battle of talented seniors at No. 1 singles.
The Pirates added to their final margin of victory with wins at No. 5, where Megan Wingfield beat first-year junior Lizzy Schiller 6-2, 6-3, and at No. 6, where Claire Hemming cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over first-year Missionary Maggie Eismeier.
Whitman tallied its team point in doubles in the featured match at No. 1 on Friday, where Otto and Roberg handled Burns and Marshall by an 8-3 count. Otto and Roberg won the doubles title at last fall's regional tournament and advanced to play in the Small College National Championships in Mobile, Ala.
Whitworth won 8-1 at No. 2 doubles, where Bosman and Staudinger beat Rolston and Kunkel-Patterson, and 8-4 at No. 3, where Hemming and Winfield scored an 8-4 decision over Schiller and first-year teammate Hannah Palkowitz.
Up 2-1 after doubles, Whitman quickly extended its lead in the team scoring to 4-1 when senior Elise Otto dispatched Maddison Holtz 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles and sophomore Alyssa Roberg downed Maddie Thiesse by the same score at No. 2
That put junior Emily Rolston at No. 3 and sophomore Kate Kunkel-Patterson at No. 2 in position to nail down the clinching fifth team point.
Rolston was the first to finish, scoring a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Jenna Gerdsen. Kunkel-Patterson finished next, edging Logan Thompson 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Whitman hosts Pacific Lutheran next Friday and then plays at Pacific and George Fox on Saturday and Sunday.
Whitworth 6, Whitman 3
Singles - Rachel Burns, Whtw, def Elise Otto, Whit, 6-3, 6-3. Alyssa Roberg, Whit, def Alli Marshall, Whtw, 6-4, 6-1. Erica Bosman, Whtw, def Emily Rolston, Whit, 6-2, 6-1. Ka Kunkel-Patterson, Whit, def Katie Staudinger, Whtw, 7-5, 6-0. Megan Wingfield, Whtw, def Lizzy Schiller, Whit, 6-2, 6-3. Claire Hemming, Whtw, def Maggie Eismeier, Whit, 6-0, 6-1.
Doubles - Otto/Roberg, Whit, def Burns/Marshall, Whtw, 8-3. Bosman/Staudinger, Whtw def Kunkel-Patterson/Rolston, Whit, 8-1. Hemming/Wingfield, Whtw, def Schiller/Palkowitz, Whit, 8-4.