SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth defeated visiting Puget Sound 7-2 in a key match in the chase for Northwest Conference women's tennis tournament berths on Friday night at the Scotford Tennis Center.
The Pirates improved to 7-8 overall and 6-5 in the NWC while the Loggers dropped to 13-4, 7-4. Whitworth has handed UPS two of its four losses this season and now holds an important tiebreaker point against the Loggers.
The Bucs jumped out to a 3-0 lead by sweeping the doubles matches. The first and third doubles matches both ended in 8-4 scores in favor of the Pirates. Jessi Steele and KC McConnell beat Josephine Dow and Malia Ford at #3, while Saryn Mooney and Taylor Pena topped Maddie Thiesse and Allison Embernate at #1. Meanwhile Morgan McDivitt and Megan Wingfield pulled out an 8-6 win over Logan Thompson and Marissa Friedman at #2.
The Loggers stayed alive by taking two of the first three singles matches. Mooney gave Whitworth a 4-0 lead when she beat Thiesse 6-3, 6-1 at #1 singles. But the Loggers halved the lead by winning the next two matches. Thompson topped Pena 6-0, 6-3 at #3 and Jenna Gerdsen pulled out a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Steele at #2.
The Pirates then swept the bottom three singles matches for the win. McConnell put the team competition away when she defeated Ford 6-0, 6-4 at #6 singles. Wingfield beat Friedman 6-2, 7-5. McDivitt pulled out a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9) win over Dow.
If Whitworth can defeat visiting Pacific Lutheran on Saturday by a score of 6-3 or more, the Pirates will clinch the #3 seed in the NWC tournament. If the match goes in favor of the Bucs 5-4, then the berths and seeding to the NWC tournament will go to tiebreakers. If PLU wins, then Pirates will be eliminated from qualifying for the tournament. Whitman (#1) and Lewis & Clark (#2) have already clinched the top two seeds in the four-team tournament.