WALLA WALLA - With first-year players Maggie Eismeier, Olivia Bates and Leah Siegel winning their first collegiate matches, Whitman College tallied a 6-3 Northwest Conference tennis victory over Pacific Lutheran Friday afternoon on the outdoor courts at Whitman.
Whitman elevated its record to 4-2 in the NWC and 4-4 overall. Pacific Lutheran slipped to 0-6 in conference and 2-6 on the season.
The Missionaries won two of three matches in doubles and then clinched the team victory by taking the first three decisions in singles. The Lutes narrowed the final gap by winning two of the last three matches in singles.
Sophomore Alyssa Roberg teamed with Bates at No. 2 doubles for an 8-1 Whitman victory over Deanna Ellmer and Caitlin Hoerr.
Lizzy Schiller, a junior in her first season of college tennis, joined forces with Siegel for an 8-4 win over Hailey Rile and Sophia Ro at No. 3 doubles.
Pacific Lutheran sophomore Tina Aarsvold and first-year teammate Leah Newell rallied to notch a team point for the Lutes with a 9-7 triumph in a back-and-forth battle at No. 1 doubles.
Whitman junior Emily Rolston and sophomore Kate Kunkel-Patterson had a 7-6 lead in that match and were serving for the win, but Aarsvold and Newell picked off three straight games to claim the victory.
Kunkel-Patterson was the first Missionary to finish in singles, posting a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Hoerr at No. 3.
After Rolston followed with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Aarsvald at No. 2 singles, Roberg nailed down the clinching fifth team point by downing Newell 6-4, 6-0 at No. 1.
Ellmer rallied for the Lutes at No. 4, scrambling past Schiller 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 at No. 4 singles. Ro then skated past Whitman's Hadley Scherer 6-3, 6-2 in a battle of first-year players at No. 6 singles.
Eismeier finished on a positive note for Whitman, beating Rile 6-1, 6-4 at No. 5 singles.
Whitman headed to western Oregon after the match to play Pacific on Saturday afternoon in Forest Grove and George Fox at 1 p.m. today in Newberg.
The Missionaries also have a neutral court match set for 11:30 a.m. Monday against Hardin-Simmons out of Abilene, Texas, at Club Green Meadows in Vancouver, Wash.
Whitman 6, PLU 3
SINGLES - Alyssa Roberg, Whit, def Leah Newell, PLU, 6-4, 6-0; Emily Rolston, Whit, def Tina Aarsvold, PLU, 6-3, 6-1; Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whit, def Caitlyn Hoerr, PLU, 6-1, 6-2; Deanna Ellmer, PLU, def Lizzy Schiller, Whit, 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7); Maggie Eismeier, Whit, def Hailey Rile, PLU, 6-1, 6-4; Sophia Ro, PLU, def Hadley Scherer, Whit, 6-3, 6-2.
DOUBLES - Aarsvold/Newell, PLU, def Kunkel-Patterson/Rolston, Whit, 9-7; Roberg/Bates, Whit, def Ellmer/Hoerr, PLU, 8-1; Schiller/Siegel, Whit, def Rile/Ro, PLU, 8-4.