Missionary women claim third straight NWC crown

Whitman College’s Courtney Lawless (left) and Madison Webster both had this shot covered during their No. 1 doubles match Sunday afternoon on the Missionaries’ outdoor tennis courts. Whitman defeated Linfield, 5-0, for its third straight Northwest Conference title.

Whitman College’s Courtney Lawless (left) and Madison Webster both had this shot covered during their No. 1 doubles match Sunday afternoon on the Missionaries’ outdoor tennis courts. Whitman defeated Linfield, 5-0, for its third straight Northwest Conference title. Photo by Greg Lehman.

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WALLA WALLA — Whitman College’s women’s tennis team was able to overcome stiff opposition and windy conditions at its outdoor courts Sunday afternoon and claim its third consecutive Northwest Conference

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Whitman College’s Courtney Lawless (left) and Madison Webster both had this shot covered during their No. 1 doubles match Sunday afternoon on the Missionaries’ outdoor tennis courts. Whitman defeated Linfield, 5-0, for its third straight Northwest Conference title.

tournament crown with a 5-0 victory over Linfield.

“It was an absolute team effort,” Whitman coach John Hein said. “I couldn’t be more proud. Today was about focus. We knew the tennis was there.

“Linfield played tough and made it tough,” he said. “But we stayed focused and played our tennis.”

Sunday’s most competitive match came at No. 3 doubles. Whitman’s duo of Jenna Dobrin and Hannah Palkowitz scored a 9-8 victory. Dobrin and Palkowitz took the tiebreaker in the pro-set match by a 7-4 count.

“We like the pressure,” Hein said. “It was good pressure, so we really enjoyed it.”

“It was hard fought,” Dobrin said. “We stayed as mentally tough as we could and found a way to pull it off. There were a lot of up-and-down emotions.

“Hannah is such an outstanding partner,” Dobrin said. “We stayed unified and stuck together.”

Prior to the Dobrin-Palkowitz triumph, the No. 2 doubles team of Erin Bell and Katrina Allick produced the Missionaries first victory of the day, 8-1. Courtney Lawless and Maddy Webster followed moments later with an 8-4 decision at No. 1.

“There was crazy intensity,” said Lawless, who is currently nursing a quadricep injury. “We had so much passion out on the court. We love each other so much. That will get us through when we get to nationals.”

Allick recorded a 6-3, 6-0 victory in No. 6 singles and Allie Wallin registered the championship-clinching result at No. 4, 6-2, 6-0.

“Hannah and Jenna coming through in doubles helped us keep (momentum) going,” Wallin said. “We could have easily lost it because they were fired up after (beating Whitworth on Saturday in the semifinals).

“It’s a great day to be a Missionary,” Wallin said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better conference day (as a freshman). I wouldn’t want to win with anyone else.”

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