Wildcats Edge Pirates in NWC Semifinals

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Linfield rallied from a 2-1 doubles deficit to defeat Whitworth 5-3 in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference women's tennis tournament on Saturday evening at Whitman College.

The Wildcats (13-3) advance to play tournament-host Whitman (13-8) in the women's championship on Sunday.  The Pirates finish the season 12-6.

Linfield jumped ahead 1-0 when Caroline Brigham and Mackenzie Fraser defeated Anabelle Burns and Saryn Mooney 8-0 at #1 doubles.  But Whitworth picked up the next two points, beginning with an 8-3 win by KC McConnell and Caylee Lam at #3 doubles.  Bella Hoyos and Morgan McDivitt then pulled out a hard-fought 8-6 win over Kaila Nip and Kelly Watanabe at #2 doubles by breaking serve in the final game.

Taylor Peña, unable to play doubles because of a sore back, tried to go at #1 singles by retired after two games and the team score was tied 2-2.

Fraser then gave Linfield a 3-2 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lamm at #6 singles, but Hoyos followed soon after with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Watanabe at #3 singles.  The team score was now 3-3.

Nip earned a 6-3, 6-3 win over Mooney at #2 singles to give the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.  The team victory was clinched when Marisa Kume pulled out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Burns at #4 singles.

McDivitt was ahead 1-0 in the third set of her match at #5 singles when Linfield clinched the win.

Whitworth finished the regular season in second place in the NWC standings and the Pirates do not graduate a single senior.  

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