Whit tennis trio tabbed for trip to Cary, N.C.

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WALLA WALLA - Three Whitman College tennis players have earned invitations to the singles and doubles competition at the NCAA Division III National Championships later this month in Cary, N.C.

Alyssa Roberg and teammate Courtney Lawless will compete in the women's 32-player singles bracket and join forces in the 16-team doubles bracket.

Meanwhile, Andrew La Cava will compete in the men's singles bracket.

Selection of individuals and doubles combos was based on won-lost record and strength of schedule as well as eligibility and availability of the student athletes.

Two more members of the Whitman men's team, Conor Holton-Burke and Matt Tesmond, are designated as alternates in the doubles bracket. They will be added to the doubles competition if one of the teams already chosen from the West Region is unable to compete for any reason.

Roberg, the women's Northwest Conference Player of the Year this spring, is 11-1 in singles (mostly at No. 1) and 14-2 in doubles (all at No. 1). She also won the ITA's Pacific Northwest singles title last fall and teamed with Lawless for the doubles title.

Lawless is 19-1 in singles, splitting time between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, and 17-3 in doubles (mostly with Roberg).

Roberg is No. 2 and Lawless No. 4 in the latest West Region rankings in singles. They are No. 2 in the regional rankings in doubles.

La Cava, who began the spring season with a No. 7 national ranking in singles, is 12-4 while playing in the highly competitive No. 1 singles slot. He is No. 4 in singles in the West Region.

La Cava, the men's NWC Player of the Year this spring, also won the ITA's Pacific Northwest singles title last fall and then went 2-2 at the National Small College Championships in Mobile, Ala.

Roberg and Lawless will be the first Whitman women to compete in the singles and doubles competition since the late 1980s.

La Cava is the first Whitman male to make the national singles field since Matt Solomon capped his senior season with that honor in the spring of 2010.

Steven Ly drew an invite to the singles championship as a junior in 2006.

Tim Mullin twice made the singles field, competing as a senior and junior in 2002 and 2001. In 2000, Mullin and senior partner Eric Bartee competed in the doubles championship.

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