WALLA WALLA — With an 8-1 win over Puget Sound Saturday, the Whitman women’s tennis team clinched its first outright regular season title since 1988 when it played in the NAIA.
The win not only completes a perfect 12-0 mark in the Northwest Conference (15-3 overall) but also makes Whitman the host school for next weekend’s conference tournament.
“I’m really proud of the team,” Whitman coach John Hein said. “It’s something we’ve really worked hard for. It’s just really gratifying to see them play so well all year.”
The Missionaries were able to win all the doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead in blustery conditions before moving indoors for singles play.
Whitman’s Alyssa Roberg and Courtney Lawless defeated Maddie Thiesse and Allison Embernate, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. Maddy Webster and Morgan Lawless won at No. 2 over Logan Thompson and Marissa Friedman, 8-1. At No. 3, the UPS tandem of Josie Dow and Malia Ford held a 6-5 advantage over Katrina Allick and Kate Rubinstein, but the Whitman duo rattled off three straight games to take the match, 8-6.
“It was key for us to sweep in doubles because we know how deep UPS is in singles”, Hein said. “To have really good energy in doubles was critical because it not only gave us a lead in the score but it provided a confidence that we carried over into singles.”
Courtney Lawless downed Thiesse at No. 1 in workman-like fashion, 6-2 and 6-2. Moments later, Roberg notched her 15th win in singles this season with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jenna Gerdsen to clinch the team match for the Missionaries.
Rubinstein prevailed over Friedman, 6-2 and 6-4, at the No. 4 slot to give the Missionaries a 6-0 lead. At No. 3, Thompson outrallied Jenna Dobrin to win the first set 6-4. Thompson maintained her steady play to grab win the second 6-3 to notch the Loggers on win.
Whitman 8, Puget Sound 1
SINGLES — Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Maddie Thiesse, UPS, 6-2, 6-2; Alyssa Roberg, Whitman, def. Jenna Gerdsen, UPS, 6-3, 6-0; Logan Thompson, UPS, def. Jenna Dobrin, 6-4, 6-3; Kate Rubinstein, Whitman, def. Marissa Friedman, UPS, 6-2, 6-4; Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whitman, def. Josie Dow, 6-4, 7-5; Katrina Allick, Whitman, def. Malia Ford, UPS, 4-6, 6-2 (10-2).
DOUBLES — Alyssa Roberg/Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Maddie Thiesse/Allison Embernate, UPS, 8-3; Morgan Lawless/Maddy Webster, Whitman, def. Logan Thompson/Marissa Friedman, UPS, 8-1; Kate Rubinstein/ Katrina Allick, Whitman, def. Josie Dow/Malia Ford, UPS, 8-6.
Whitman 9, Pacific Lutheran 0
SINGLES — Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Samantha Lund, PLU, 6-0, 6-0; Alyssa Roberg, Whitman, def. Leah Newell, PLU, 6-2 6-0; Jenna Dobrin, Whitman, def. Payton McGriff, PLU, 3-6, 6-1, 10-8; Kate Rubinstein, Whitman, def. Tina Aarsvold, PLU, 6-1, 6-1; Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whitman, def. Catherine Miolla, PLU, 6-0, 6-1; Maddy Webster, Whitman, def. Allison McClure, PLU, 6-0 6-3.
DOUBLES — Alyssa Roberg/Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Samantha Lund/Payton McGriff, PLU, 8-2; Maddy Webster/Morgan Lawless, Whitman, def. Leah Newell, Tina Aarsvold, PLU, 8-3; Kate Kunkel-Patterson/Hannah Palkowitz, Whitman, def. Valery Jorgenson/Catherine Miolla, PLU, 8-6.