Bearcats Fall to Southern Oregon in Season Opener, 8-1

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's tennis team played its season opener on Saturday, Feb. 7 and was defeated by Southern Oregon University, 8-1, in a non-conference match at the Courthouse Tennis Club. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, fell to 0-1. Southern Oregon, a member of the NAIA, improved to 2-0 on the season.

Southern Oregon built a 2-1 lead in doubles. The Raiders won #1 doubles, as Katie Ross and Rebecca Weicher defeated Shannon Palmer (Fr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Abby Funabiki (Sr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS/Quinnipiac Univ.), 8-3. Willamette's #2 doubles team of Kristen Dedijer-Small (Fr., Dallas, OR/Oaks Christian HS/Chemeketa CC) and Alyssa Morrison (Jr., Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) downed SOU's Charlotte Duren and Heidi Chiles, 9-7.

The #3 doubles match was claimed by Mallory Byers and Elizabeth Kiger of Southern Oregon. They defeated Samantha Wong (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) and Jamie Slonaker (So., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS), 8-3.

The Raiders swept the singles competition, but two matches were decided in three sets and another pair were closely contested. The #3 singles match was won by Chiles over Morrison, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. At #6 singles, Weicher was forced into a third set before she downed Fabi Dieguez of WU, 6-0, 3-6, 6-0.

At #4 singles, Byers edged out Funabiki, 7-5, 6-4. The #5 singles match started well for Kiger with a 6-1 win, but Wong brought the second set into a tie-breaker, before Kiger prevailed, 7-6 (7-3).

Ross won over Palmer at #1 singles, 6-2, 6-0. Duren achieved a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dedijer-Small during the #2 singles match.

Willamette plays again on Friday, Feb. 13, when the Bearcats open Northwest Conference play at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. Match time is set for 2 p.m. (PST).

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009
At Courthouse Tennis Club, Salem, Ore.

#1 - Katie Ross (SOU) defeated Shannon Palmer (WU), 6-2, 6-0
#2 - Charlotte Duren (SOU) defeated Kristen Dedijer-Small (WU), 6-0, 6-1
#3 - Heidi Chiles (SOU) defeated Alyssa Morrison (WU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
#4 - Mallory Byers (SOU) defeated Abby Funabiki (WU), 7-5, 6-4
#5 - Elizabeth Kiger (SOU) defeated Samantha Wong (WU), 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
#6 - Rebecca Weicher (SOU) defeated Fabi Dieguez (WU), 6-0, 3-6, 6-0

#1 - Ross and Weicher (SOU) defeated Palmer and Funabiki (WU), 8-3
#2 - Dedijer-Small and Morrison (WU) defeated Duren and Chiles (SOU), 9-7
#3 - Byers and Kiger (SOU) defeated Wong and Jamie Slonaker (WU), 8-3

Southern Oregon is 2-0 overall. Willamette is 0-1 overall.

Southern Oregon University 8
Willamette University 1
Alyssa Morrison combined with Kristen Dedijer-Small to win #2 doubles for the Bearcats.

Alyssa Morrison combined with Kristen Dedijer-Small to win #2 doubles for the Bearcats.