Bearcats Edge Pacific Lutheran, 5-4, in NWC Action

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Every match counted on Friday, March 14, as wins at #6 singles and #3 doubles helped Willamette University edge Pacific Lutheran University, 5-4, in Northwest Conference women's tennis action at the Courthouse Tennis Club. Willamette improved to 4-7 overall, while Pacific Lutheran fell to 4-5 on the season. The Bearcats and PLU are tied for fifth place in the NWC at 4-5 in conference play.

Willamette picked up an important win at #3 doubles when Alyssa Morrison (So., Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) and Samantha Wong (Fr., Honolulu, HI/Iolani HS) defeated Ashley Brooks and Esther Ham of PLU, 8-5. The Bearcats also earned a victory at #1 doubles, with Alaine Anderson (Sr., Santa Ana, CA/Foothills HS) and Jamie Slonaker (Fr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) winning the final two games to hold off Liz Currey and Emily Starr, 8-6.

In addition to contributing to the win at #3 doubles, Wong also provided a victory for the Bearcats at #6 singles. She achieved a narrow win over Ham in the first set, 7-5, then easily won the second set, 6-1. Anderson won #3 singles for Willamette, 6-4, 6-4, against Coats of PLU. Abby Funabiki (Jr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) also claimed a win for Willamette, as she took #4 singles in a three-set battle with Brooks, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The #1 singles match also went three sets before Erika Feltus of Pacific Lutheran outlasted Kam from Willamette, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1. Feltus teamed with Coats for PLU's only win in doubles, an 8-3 triumph over Kam and Funabiki at the #2 position.

Earlier this season, on Feb. 15, Pacific Lutheran defeated Willamette, 6-3, in Tacoma, Wash. In that match, WU recorded one win in doubles play and lost four of six singles matches. Nearly all of the singles matches were closely contested during the first meeting. In the rematch on Friday, the Bearcats won two doubles matches and went 3-3 in singles play.

Willamette is 4-1 in its last five conference matches and has won four of its last six matches overall. The Bearcats will go almost two weeks before returning to action on Thursday, March 27 against the University of California-Santa Cruz on neutral courts in Walla Walla, Wash.

Saturday, March 14
At Courthouse Tennis Club, Salem, Ore.

Willamette University 5, Pacific Lutheran University 4

#1 - Erika Feltus (PLU) defeated Tiffany Kam (WU), 6-0, 2-6, 6-1
#2 - Liz Currey (PLU) defeated Alyssa Morrison (WU), 6-2, 6-2
#3 - Alaine Anderson (WU) defeated Ashley Coats (PLU), 6-4, 6-4
#4 - Abby Funabiki (WU) defeated Ashley Brooks (PLU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
#5 - Emily Starr (PLU) defeated Jamie Slonaker (WU), 6-2, 6-0
#6 - Samantha Wong (WU) defeated Esther Ham (PLU), 7-5, 6-1

#1 - Anderson and Slonaker (WU) defeated Currey and Starr (PLU), 8-6
#2 - Feltus and Coats (PLU) defeated Kam and Funabiki (WU), 8-3
#3 - Morrison and Wong (WU) defeated Brooks and Ham (PLU), 8-5

Willamette is 4-7 overall, 4-5 in the NWC; Pacific Lutheran is 4-5 overall, 4-5 in the NWC.

Alaine Anderson won #3 singles and paired with Jamie Slonaker to win #1 doubles against Pacific Lutheran on March 14.