REDLAND, Calif. - Playing its second nationally ranked opponent in as many days, the Whitman College women's tennis team dropped a 7-2 decision to the University of Redlands Friday afternoon.
Redlands, ranked No. 28 in NCAA Division III (No. 6 in the West Region), upped its season record to 7-4.
Whitman, ranked No. 10 in the west, slipped to 8-6.
Redlands bolted to a 3-0 lead with a sweep in doubles, although Whitman's Elise Otto and Alyssa Roberg led for much of their match at No. 1 doubles before losing 9-7 to Rachel Miller and Jessica Ly.
Otto and Roberg led 7-4 at one point before their opponents rallied to win, "When you are playing a good doubles team like that, you have to beat them, and we didn't do that today," Whitman coach John Hein said. "They weren't going to beat themselves. They hit some good shots when they needed them. Once Redlands came back from the match points, the final score was decided by just a few points here and there."
Whitman scored its team points at No. 2 singles, where Otto won her sixth straight decision in straight sets, and at No. 6, where first-year Missionary Hannah Palkowitz was a winner in a third-set tie-breaker.
"Hannah played smart and strong and used all of her shots," Hein said. "That was a very good win for her."
Roberg, a sophomore, battled Miller, a Redlands senior, to a split of their first two sets at No. 1 singles. Miller won the third-set, played as a 10-point tie-breaker, by a 10-8 count.
Sophomore Kate Kunkel-Patterson, who missed yesterday's match with a sore wrist, returned to play at both No. 2 doubles and No. 4 singles.
"The wrist was better today, but it's still swollen and there's some pain," Hein said. "It wasn't Kate's best tennis today, but she still hit the ball pretty well."
Whitman completed its Spring Break trip Saturday with a match against No. 21 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Claremont, Calif.
Redlands 7, Whitman 2
SINGLES - Rachel Miller, REDLANDS, def. Alyssa Roberg, WTMN, 6-4, 6-7, 1-0 (10-8). Elise Otto, WTMN, def. Jessica Ly, REDLANDS, 6-4, 6-3. Sara Yoshinaga, REDLANDS, def. Emily Rolston, WTMN, 6-1, 6-2. Paige Press, REDLANDS, def. Ka Kunkel-Patterson, WTMN, 6-1, 6-0. Julia Galbraith, REDLANDS, def. Lizzy Schiller, WTMN, 6-0, 6-1. Hannah Palkowitz, WTMN, def. Amanda Alvarez, REDLANDS, 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-7).
DOUBLES - Rachel Miller-Sara Yoshinaga, REDLANDS, def. Elise Otto-Alyssa Roberg, WTMN, 9-7. Jessica Ly-Julia Galbraith, REDLANDS, def. Ka Kunkel-Patterson-Emily Rolston, WTMN, 8-2. Paige Press-Amanda Alvarez, REDLANDS, def. Hannah Palkowitz-Lizzy Schiller, WTMN, 8-2.