SALEM, Ore. – Visiting Whitworth turned the momentum of three close doubles victories into an 8-1 win over Willamette in the Northwest Conference men's tennis opener for both schools on Friday evening.
The Pirates improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the NWC. The Bearcats dropped to 0-2, 0-1.
All three doubles matches were hard-fought contests and Whitworth won all three. Drew Brigham and Shane Sandlin defeated Devin Abney and Will Cooper 8-5 at #1, then Blake Miller and Troy Patterson won 8-6 over Sam Wexman and Gunnar Lee. John Talbot and Matt Goebel completed the Pirate doubles sweep with a 9-7 win over Shrujan Kalidindi and Blake Brash.
Only two of the singles matches went beyond two sets. Talbot topped Cooper 7-6 (3), 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) at #3 singles, while Sandlin edged Brash 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-6) at #5 – both going in Whitworth's favor.
Brigham swept Wexman 6-3, 6-3 at #1 singles and Chris Engelmann got by Abney 6-3, 6-2 at #2 singles. Patterson was Whitworth's final winner, claiming a 6-2, 6-2 win over Lee at #6 singles.
Jack Schreiber gave Willamette its only win of the night, 6-3, 6-2 over Miller at #4.
Whitworth will continue its NWC-opening trip to Oregon with a match at Linfield on Saturday.