SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University dropped its Northwest Conference men's tennis opener 5-4 in heart-breaking fashion to visiting Pacific University on Saturday at the Scotford Tennis Center.
The Boxers improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the NWC while the Pirates fell to 0-7, 0-1.
Pacific (Ore.) took a one-point lead (2-1) after doubles play that would hold up through a split of the singles contest. The deciding factor could have come at #2 doubles where Sean Murphy and Jonathan Chung edged Ben Bethards and Kincaid Norris 9-8 (4). Whitworth got its doubles point from Ian Fisher and Nick Hughes, who pulled out an 8-4 win over Ford Nakagawa and Rayden Murata at #3. The Boxers won at #1 when Oscar Wright and Sage Katayama defeated Jake Bethards and Thomas Remington 8-2.
Chung defeated Ben Bethards 6-1, 6-1 at #3 singles to give Pacific a 3-1 lead, but Fisher pulled out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over Katayama at #2 to pull the Pirates to within 3-2. Norris then tied the match at 3-3 with his 6-2, 6-1 victory over Murphy at #4 singles.
Wright edged Jake Bethards 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 at #1 singles to move Pacific ahead 4-3 and Murata clinched the team victory with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 win over Remington at #5 singles.
Whitworth scored its final point minutes later when Hughes outlasted Griffin Fraser 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 at #6 singles.
The Pirates will host Linfield College on Sunday at 10:00 looking to pick up their first victory of the 2018 season.