Whitworth Edges Willamette, 5-4, in Men's Tennis

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University won four of six singles positions, including three-set victories at #5 and #6 singles, as the Pirates defeated Willamette University, 5-4, in a Northwest Conference match on Friday, Feb. 22. Whitworth improved to 6-2 on the season, including 6-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the NWC.

Whitworth remained in first place in the NWC. The Pirates and Whitman College (4-0 NWC) are both undefeated in conference play.

The Pirates gave up one-set leads at #5 and #6 singles, but rebounded in the third set at each position. In #5 singles, Joe Wales of Whitworth outlasted Alex Sepenzis (Jr., Edwards, CO/Cherry Creek HS), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. In #6 singles, Henry Williams of Whitworth held off Geoff Klein (Sr., Sagle, WA/Sandpoint HS), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

Willamette won two of the three doubles flights and almost claimed enough singles matches to win on the road. At #1 doubles, Andrew Murakami (Wahiawa, HI/University of Redlands) and Micah Mack (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) of Willamette downed Brian Elliot and Josh Steele, 8-2. The Bearcats also won at #2 singles, as Eric MacMillan (Sr., Twin Falls, ID/Twin Falls HS) and Matthew Houser (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) outscored Wale and Ed Anegon, 8-4.

In singles, Murakami won at the #3 position and Fitz Paccione (Sr., Encinitas, CA/Cathedral Catholic) was victorious at the #4 spot, as both Willamette players claimed straight-set wins. The final victory needed to win the overall match eluded the Bearcats, as Whitworh won the pair of three-set matches in the lower positions, and claimed a narrow win at #1 singles when Elliot defeated MacMillan, 7-5, 6-4. Whitworth also achieved a straight-set win at #2 singles.

The Bearcats remain on the road to take on Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 23. Match time in Walla Walla, Wash., is set for 11 a.m. (PST).

Friday, Feb., 24
At Spokane, Wash.

Whitworth University 5, Willamette University 4

#1 - Brian Elliot (WHTW) beat Eric MacMillan (WU), 7-5, 6-4
#2 - Josh Steele (WHTW) beat Matt Houser (WU), 6-1, 6-4
#3 - Andrew Murakami (WU) beat Ed Anegon (WHTW), 6-1, 6-1
#4 - Fitz Paccione (WU) beat Scott Donnell (WHTW), 6-4, 6-2
#5 - Joe Wales (WTH) beat Alex Sepenzis (WU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
#6 - Henry Williams (WTH) beat Geoff Klein (WU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2

#1 - Murakami/Micah Mack (WU) beat Steele/Elliot (WTH) 8-2
#2 - MacMillan/Houser (WU) beat Anegon/Wales (WTH) 8-4
#3 - Donnell/Willams (WTH) beat Sepenzis/Luke Lagattuta (WU) 8-4

Whitworth is 6-2 overall, 6-0 in the NWC; Willamette is 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the NWC.

Andrew Murakami won for the Bearcats at #1 doubles and #3 singles against the Pirates.

Andrew Murakami won for the Bearcats at #1 doubles and #3 singles against the Pirates.