Pirate Men Host Pair of NWC Foes

Pirate Men Host Pair of NWC Foes

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth will officially open its 2018 men's tennis Northwest Conference schedule this weekend with a pair contests.  The Pirates will play Pacific (Ore.) on Saturday at 10:00 am.  Then the Bucs host Linfield on Sunday, also at 10:00 am.

Head coach Mike Shanks is in his 19th season leading the Pirates.  Whitworth is coming off a 6-11 season in 2017 in which they went 6-6 in the Northwest Conference and almost qualified for the conference tournament.

The Bucs are off to an 0-6 start in non-conference matches this season.  That record is deceptive.  Three of the losses are to NCAA Division I opponents and another is to nationally-ranked Whitman. 

The Pirates return several key contributors from last season, led by Ian Fisher, the only senior on the 2018 roster.  Fisher finished 8-9 in singles in 2017, including a 6-6 record against NWC opponents.  Most of his matches were at #3 on the ladder.

Sophomores Ben Bethards and Jake Bethards moved into the starting lineup on a regular basis as freshman in 2017.  Jake is playing most matches at #1 this season, while Ben has split between 3rd and 4th on the ladder.  Jake finished 11-6 in singles last spring, while Ben went 3-8.

Junior Nick Hughes is the only other returnee with playing experience.  He went 3-5 in 2017.

Kincaid Norris leads a strong trio of Pirate freshmen.  He has played in every match so far in 2018.  Nick Adell and Thomas Remington have also competed in non-conference matches for Whitworth.

As always, the doubles teams will be a work-in-progress as Shanks figures out his best combinations of players. 

After this weekend's matches Whitworth will hit the road next weekend for contests at George Fox and Lewis & Clark.