Linfield Tops Whitworth in NWC Tourney Preview

McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Linfield and Whitworth gave a preview of next weekend's semifinal match in the Northwest Conference women's tennis tournament on Saturday afternoon and the Wildcats defeated the visiting Pirates 6-3 in a hard-fought contest.

While Linfield improved to 12-3 overall and 9-3 in the NWC and Whitworth dropped to 12-5, 10-2, the Pirates will be the #2 seed and the Wildcats the #3 seed at next weekend's tournament based on the previous result between the two teams.  The Bucs beat the 'Cats 7-2 on February 22nd.

Linfield jumped ahead by taking two of the three doubles matches.  Taylor Peña and Saryn Mooney gave Whitworth an 8-4 win at #1 doubles over Caroline Brigham and Mackenzie Fraser.  But Kaila Nip and Kelly Watanabe edged Morgan McDivitt and Bella Hoyos 8-6 at #2 and Gretchen Jernstedt and Courtney Mostul topped Anabelle Burns and Hannah Wallin 8-2 at #3.

Two of the singles matches went three sets and both of those went to Linfield.  Brigham slipped past Peña 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 at #1 singles, while Marisa Kume nipped Burns 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1) at #4 singles. 

Hoyos and McDivitt got the singles points for the Pirates.  Hoyos was ahead 6-3 after one set when Watanabe retired with injury.  McDivitt fought off Jernstedt 6-4, 6-4 at #5.

Nip beat Mooney 6-2, 6-1 at #2 and Fraser topped Caylee Lamm 6-2, 6-1 at #6 to round out the scoring for Linfield.

The NWC women's tournament will take place on Saturday (semifinals) and Sunday (final) next weekend at Whitman.  The host Missionaries will take on Puget Sound in the other semifinal.