Linfield Downs Bearcats, 8-1, in NWC Men's Tennis

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College defeated Willamette University, 8-1, in a Northwest Conference men's tennis match on Sunday, March 16. The Wildcats improved to 7-6 overall, 7-3 in the NWC, while Willamette dropped to 5-6 overall, 5-5 in the conference.

With the win, Linfield remained in sole possession of fourth place in the NWC standings, while Willamette remained in fifth place. The win also allowed Linfield to even the season series at one win apiece. Willamette defeated the Wildcats, 5-4, on Feb. 17 at the Courthouse Tennis Club in Salem, Ore.

In the rematch, the Wildcats recorded two wins in doubles. At #1 doubles, Mark Magdaong and Luke Rembold of LC downed Willamette's team of Andrew Murakami (Jr., Wahiawa, HI/University of Redlands) and Micah Mack (So., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS), 8-4. At #2 doubles, Linfield's Wesley Gabrielsen and Brent Kingzett defeated Eric MacMillan (Sr., Twin Falls, ID/Twin Falls HS) and Matt Houser (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS), 8-4.

The Bearcats recorded their only win of the afternoon at #3 doubles. Fitz Paccione (Sr., Encinitas, CA/Cathedral Catholic) and Luke Lagattuta (So., Albuquerque, NM/Highland HS) earned the victory by outlasting Tal DeWitt and Brad Henson of Linfield, 8-5.

MacMillan of Willamette and Nick Ruess of Linfield played a three-set match at #1 singles the first time the Bearcats and the Wildcats met. MacMillan won that meeting, but Ruess claimed the rematch, 7-5, 6-3. In five sets this spring, neither player has won a set by more than two games.

Action at #3 singles and #6 singles also involved tight matches on Sunday. In the #3 match, Gabrielsen of Linfield edged Houser in the first set, 7-6, after winning a tie-breaker, 7-3. Gabrielsen won the second set, 6-1.

At #6 singles, Henson prevailed for the Wildcats over Alex Sepenzis (Jr., Edwards, CO/Cherry Creek HS), but not until he won a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set. Henson lost the first set before rallying to take a 4-6, 7-5, 10-4 victory.

Willamette does not play again until Saturday, March 29, when the Bearcats will take on Whitworth University and Whitman College in NWC dual matches. Both matches will be played at the Willamette University Tennis Courts.

Sunday, March 16
At Linfield Tennis Center, McMinnville, Ore.

Linfield College 8, Willamette University 1

#1 - Nick Ruess (LC) defeated Eric MacMillan (WU), 7-5, 6-3
#2 - Kyle Anderson (LC) defeated Andrew Murakami (WU), 6-1, 6-3
#3 - Wesley Gabrielsen (LC) defeated Matt Houser (WU), 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
#4 - Tal DeWitt (LC) defeated Fitz Paccione (WU), 6-3, 6-1
#5 - Mark Magdaong (LC) defeated Luke Lagattuta (WU), 6-1, 6-0
#6 - Brad Henson (LC) defeated Alex Sepenzis (WU), 4-6, 7-5, 10-4*

#1 - Magdaong and Luke Rembold (LC) defeated Murakami and Micah Mack (WU), 8-4
#2 - Gabrielsen and Brent Kingzett (LC) defeated MacMillan and Houser (WU), 8-4
#3 - Paccione and Lagattuta (WU) defeated DeWitt and Henson, 8-5

* Tie-breaker played instead of a third set

Linfield is 7-6 overall, 7-3 in the NWC; Willamette is 5-6 overall, 5-5 in the NWC.

Fitz Paccione teamed with Luke Lagattuta to win #3 doubles for the Bearcats.

Fitz Paccione teamed with Luke Lagattuta to win #3 doubles for the Bearcats.