SPOKANE, Wash. – Visiting George Fox clinched third place in the final Northwest Conference men's tennis standings and third seed in the upcoming NWC tournament with a 5-4 win over Whitworth on Saturday afternoon at the Scotford Tennis Center.
The Bruins improved to 10-7 overall and 9-3 in the NWC, while the Pirates dropped to 11-8, 8-4 and fourth place in the conference. Whitworth had needed to defeat GFU at least 7-2 to overtake the Bruins in the final standings.
Today's match may have been decided at #1 doubles. The Whitworth team of Daniel Redfern and Micah Spaun led 7-6 and was serving for the match before the Bruin pair of Preston Mann and Shawn Aldrich rallied to win 9-7.
George Fox's Justin McClain and Peter Brown defeated Ben Hamming and Stefan Dernbach 8-2 at #2 doubles, while Whitworth's John Talbot and Matt Goebel beat David Munoz and Drew Milton 8-3 at #3 doubles.
With all six singles matches occurring simultaneously, the momentum shifted wildly throughout the afternoon. Munoz ran past Hamming 6-1, 6-1 at #5 singles to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead, but Redfern beat Mann 6-1, 7-5 to pull the Pirates within 3-2. McClain topped Spaun 6-3, 6-1 at #3 singles to put the Bruins ahead 4-2.
Whitworth's Cameron Williams rallied from behind (4-1) in the second set for a 6-4, 7-5 win over Aldrich at #2 singles. But minutes before that match was completed GFU's Drew Milton clinched the team victory for the Bruins with his 6-2, 6-3 win over Dustin McConnell at #4.
Talbot scored Whitworth's final point with a 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (10-4) win over Andy Tweet at #6.
Whitworth will head to next week's NWC tournament at Whitman as the #4 seed and the Pirates are scheduled to take on top-seeded and nationally-ranked Whitman in the first round on Saturday.