WALLA WALLA — After winning the regular-season Northwest Conference title, the Whitman women’s tennis team earned the right to host the NWC Championships this Friday and Saturday as the No. 1 seed.
The winner of the four-team single-elimination tournament gains an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament in May.
The Missionaries will face No. 4-seed Linfield College at 10 a.m. on Friday, with No. 2 seed Lewis & Clark taking on No. 3-seed Whitworth at 2 p.m.
The finals will be played at 9 a.m. Saturday.
All matches are scheduled for the outdoor courts in the heart of the Whitman campus, weather permitting. If the weather becomes inclement, the matches will be moved inside to the Bratton Tennis Center.
The 16th-ranked Missionaries come into the tournament with momentum, winners of their last four matches and completing a perfect 12-0 conference season.
Whitman won the outright regular-season conference title for the first time since 1988.
The squad is led by senior Alyssa Roberg and sophomore Courtney Lawless, who are ranked 12th and third in the region, respectively.
Playing predominantly at No. 2 singles, Roberg has not lost a match this season, running her record to 15-0 while only dropping two sets this spring.
Lawless, operating out of the No. 1 spot, has notched a 17-2 mark.
The two comprise the No. 10 doubles team in the nation, posting a 13 -4 record during the team campaign.
Sophomore Morgan Lawless has been a fixture at No. 3, amassing a 10-3 record, and in the second half of the season Jenna Dobrin, Kate Rubinstein, Kate Kunkel-Patterson and Maddy Webster have made major contributions at the 4-6 spots.
For tourney updates, visit the championships page on the Whitman website, http://www.whitman.edu/whitman-athletics/2013-nwc-tennis-championships.