WALLA WALLA - Whitman College regained sole possession of second place in the Northwest Conference women's tennis standings with an 8-1 victory over an ailing Willamette team on Saturday on Whitman's outdoor courts.
Whitman, now 13-4 on the season, improved to 8-2 in the NWC, moving a victory ahead of Whitworth, which dropped a 6-3 decision to league-leading Linfield on Saturday.
Willamette, which had just four healthy players available, slipped to 4-6 in conference and 6-8 overall.
With two of its players suffering from stomach viruses and unable to compete, Willamette was forced to forfeit at No. 3 doubles and No. 5 and No. 6 singles, giving Whitman a 3-0 cushion in the team scoring before the match began.
Sisters Courtney and Morgan Lawless got the win for Whitman at No. 1 doubles, beating Shannon Palmer and Sabrina Gutierrez 8-2. Emily Rolston and Hannah Palkowitz were 8-4 winners at No. 2 doubles, downing Emily Bee and Emily Funabiki.
Courtney Lawless cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Palmer at No. 1 singles, but the remaining three matches in singles were close.
Morgan Lawless rallied for a 4-6, 6-0, 10-5 victory over Gutierrez at No. 2 singles, and Lizzy Schiller edged Bee 7-5, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
The Bearcats tallied their lone team point at No. 4 singles, where Funabiki bounced back for a 2-6, 6-2, 10-4 win over Erin Minuth.
Whitman hits the road next weekend to finish the regular season with matches at George Fox on Friday and at Lewis & Clark on Saturday.