WALLA WALLA — The No. 27 nationally-ranked Whitman women’s tennis team earned the right to play for the Northwest Conference tournament championship with a 5-0 semifinal victory over Puget Sound on Saturday afternoon at its outdoor tennis facility.
The Missionaries will play at noon Sunday for the tourney title and the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament.
Whitman began its afternoon of domination with three impressive doubles triumphs. Courtney Lawless and Maddy Webster scored an 8-1 victory at No. 1, Erin Bell and Katrina Allick prevailed by an 8-2 score in second doubles, and Jenna Dobrin and Hannah Palkowitz were 8-5 winners at No. 3.
“We came out and conquered doubles,” Allick said. “We all played well.”
“We came out wanting to sweep doubles,” Webster said. “We put our minds and bodies into it. The energy of the crowd allowed us to prosper.”
“It was a good win,” Palkowitz said of the day. “It hard to stay focused on matches like this when we’re so looking forward to tomorrow.”
Allick and Bell won singles matches at No. 2 and 4, respectively, to end the day’s activity. Allick registered a 6-1, 6-0 victory and Bell won 6-1, 6-2.
“I came out and didn’t do anything fancy,” Allick said. “If my volley and serve were not working, I was hitting deep and cross court and waiting for the right ball to put away. Those techniques get me to win very easily.
“One of our team mottos is, ‘Fight with your feet,’” Allick said. “Maintaining foot work will help you (strike) one more ball than your opponent.”