SALEM, Ore. – Visiting Whitworth set up a showdown with Linfield for sole possession of first place in the Northwest Conference women's tennis standings with a 6-3 win at Willamette on Friday evening at the Courthouse Tennis Center.
The Pirates improved to 7-1 overall and 6-0 in the NWC while the Bearcats dropped to 5-4, 3-4.
The match may have turned on a hard-fought doubles victory by Whitworth's Alli Marshall and Erica Bosman in the #1 match. The Pirate pair outlasted Wilamette's Shannon Palmer and Sabrina Gutierrez 9-7 to give the Bucs a 2-1 lead after doubles.
Earlier in doubles play Whitworth's Saryn Mooney and Megan Wingfield topped Emily Funabiki and Elise Derby 8-3 at #3, while Willamette's Denise Poltavski and Emily Bee topped Jessi Steele and Claire Hemming 8-2 at #2.
The Bearcats won at #1 and #3 singles, but the Pirates took the other four matches to clinch the win.
Bosman beat Gutierrez 6-2, 6-2 at #2, while Steele rolled past Bee 6-1, 6-1 at #4. Wingfield had little trouble with Funabiki at #5 (6-1, 6-3) and Hemming rolled past Derby 6-3, 6-0 at #6.
Palmer edged Marshall 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at #1 singles, and Poltavski topped Mooney 6-3, 6-2 at #3.
Linfield (8-0 NWC) and Whitworth have combined to win the last ten NWC titles, with the Pirates claiming the last three in a row. The match will start at 1:00 pm on Saturday.