SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University pulled out a 5-4 decision over visiting Linfield College for the Pirates' first men's tennis victory of 2018.
The Pirates took two of the three doubles matches for an early lead against Linfield (1-5, 0-2). Norris and Bethards defeated Eric Rutherford and Luis Rojas 8-3 at #2, while Ian Fisher and Nick Hughes rolled by Jacob Mangan and John Lutaaya 8-1 at #3. The Wildcats got their point when Ben McNair and Nathan Saragoza slipped past Jake Bethards and Thomas Remington 8-6.
Jake Bethards rebounded to defeat Saragoza 6-4, 6-4 at #1 singles to increase the Pirates' lead to 3-1.
However, Linfield won the next two singles contests to tie the match 3-3. Rojas topped Fisher 7-6 (3), 6-2 at #2 singles and McNair pulled out a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 win over Ben Bethards at #3.
Remington gave Whitworth the lead back with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Rutherford at #5 singles. Then Norris clinched the team victory with a 6-0, 6-3 win over J.C. Barcellos at #4 singles.
Mangan edged Hughes 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (8) for the Wildcats' final point.
Whitworth will hit the road for a pair of conference matches next weekend at Lewis & Clark and George Fox.