WALLA WALLA — The Whitman College women’s tennis team improved to 2–0 in Northwest Conference play and 3–1 on the season with a convincing 8–1 victory over Willamette at the Bratton Tennis Center Sunday, wrapping up three matches in four days for the Missionaries as the Whits hosted the first Whitman Winter Classic.
The Missionaries opened tournament play Thursday with a 5-4 victory over non-league rival University of California-Santa Cruz by a 5-4 tally and then rolled to an 8-1 league win over Linfield on Saturday.
The heavy schedule of matches caused Coach John Hein to juggle his line-up, allowing some different players to see action.
Just as they did in Saturday’s victory over Linfield, the Whitman women took all three doubles matches Sunday, with Hannah Palkowitz and Maddy Webster winning the first match at the No. 3 spot, 8–0 over Mandy Carlson and Lizzie Kubitz. Morgan Lawless and Jenna Dobrin picked off a win at No. 2 with an 8–2 victory over Rachel Heringer and Steph Matsura. And the No. 1 team of Alyssa Roberg and Courtney Lawless won the longest doubles match of the day, outlasting Sabrina Gutierrez and Denise Poltavski 8–5
In singles play Sunday, Courtney Lawless bested Poltavski 6– 2, 6–1 at No. 1, Dobrin wore down a gritty Guitierrez 6–3, 6–1 at No. 2, and the Whits secured the victory when Kate Kunkel-Patterson prevailed 6–6 (7–3), 6–1 over Heringer at No. 3.
Katrina Allick made it 7–0 Whitman when she defeated Matsura 6–1, 6–1. Willamette garnered its sole win of the day from Carlson, who defeated Erin Minuth in a tight match, 6–4, 6–4.
Palkowitz won the final match of the day at No. 6 singles, topping Yasmine Genena 6–0, 6–2.
“I thought we really played well as a team,” Hein said following the final match of the weekend. “Plus, everyone got to play matches.
“In the close win over Santa Cruz, we saw people step up in different spots, which is really fun to see. And it’s great to be 2-0 in the conference.”
The Courtney Lawless-Roberg duo also keyed Saturday’s doubles sweep as they took the No. 1 match by defeating Caroline Brigham and Lexi Thomas of Linfield, 8–0. At No. 2, Dobrin and Morgan Lawless bested Kelly Watanabe and Kiana Nip 8–2. And Allick and Kate Rubinstien downed Emily Erbin and Gretchen Jernstedt 8–3 at No. 3.
In the ensuing singles, Whitman took all the matches except at No. 5, where Jernstedt outdueled Maddy Webster 6–3, 3–6 (14–12).
Courtney Lawless was victorious over Thomas at No. 1 singles, 6–1, 6–1. Roberg bested Brigham in three sets at number two, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. And at No. 3, Morgan Lawless defeated Nip 6-3, 6-0.
Dobrin rolled at No. 4, winning 6–0, 6–1 over Watanabe. And Kunkel-Patterson won in straight sets, 6–1, 6–2 over Erbin, at No. 6.
Whitman is in action again when it hosts Lewis & Clark College Saturday at 2 p.m. in another NWC counter.
Whitman 8, Willamette 1
SINGLES — Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Denise Poltavski, Willamette, 6–2, 6–1; Jenna Dobrin, Whitman, def. Sabrina Gutierrez, Willamette, 6–3, 6–1; Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Whitman, def. Rachel Heringer, Willamette, 6–6 (7–3), 6–1; Katrina Allick, Whitman, def. Steph Matsura, Willamette, 6-1, 6–1; Mandy Carlson, Willamette, def. Erin Mineth, Whitman, 6–4, 6–4; Hannah Palkowitz, Whitman, def. Yasmine Genena, Willamette, 6-0, 6-2.
DOUBLES — Alyssa Roberg/Courtney Lawless, Whitman, def. Sabrina Guttierez/Denise Pltavski, Willamette, 8–5; Morgan Lawless/Jenna Dobrin, Whitman, def. Rachel Heringer/Steph Matsura, Willamette, 8–2; Hannah Palkowitz/Maddy Webster, Whitman, def. Mandy Carlson/Lizzie Kubitz, Willamette, 8–0.
Team Scores — Whitman 8, Willamette 1.