Willamette Holds Off Whitworth for 5-4 Victory in Men's Tennis

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University swept the doubles matches, then claimed wins at #2 and #5 singles, as the Bearcats defeated Whitworth University, 5-4, in a Northwest Conference match played on Friday night, Feb. 13, at the Courthouse Tennis Club. Alex Sepenzis (Sr.) won at #5 singles in a lengthy two-set match, 6-4, 6-4, over Colin Barrett to clinch the win for WU.

Willamette is 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth dropped to 2-3 overall, 2-2 in the NWC.

Andrew Murakami (Sr.) also won in singles for Willamette. He defeated Joe Wales, 6-3, 6-4, in the #2 match. After Sepenzis won at #5, the Bearcats held a 5-2 overall lead. Whitworth claimed the final two matches of the night in three sets each.

Overall, three of the singles matches were decided in a third set. At #1 singles, Michael Shelton of Whitworth defeated Matt Houser (So., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS), 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, to earn one of the Pirates' first two points.

In the #4 singles match, Henry Williams defeated Micah Mack (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) of Willamette, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-2. At #6, Kellen Oetgen from Whitworth outlasted Michael Moore (So., Seattle, WA/Lakeside HS), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Although the #3 singles match was decided in straight sets, it was a highly competitive meeting between Colin Zalewski of Whitworth and Cody Ferguson (Fr., North Bend, OR/Western Oregon University). Zalewski won both sets in tie-breakers, as he registered a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3) victory.

Willamette swept doubles. Houser and Murakami were the winners at #1 doubles, 8-4, over Shelton and Wales. Ferguson and Mack prevailed at #2 doubles over Whitworth's team of Zalewski and Williams, 8-6. Sepenzis and Moore completed the sweep by downing Barrett and Oetgen, 8-5.

The Bearcats are scheduled to play their next match on Friday, Feb. 20 at the University of Puget Sound. Match time in Tacoma, Wash., is slated for 4:30 p.m. (PST).

Friday, Feb. 13, 2009
At Courthouse Tennis Club, Salem, Ore.

Singles
#1 - Michael Shelton (WHTW) defeated Matt Houser (WU), 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 6-0
#2 - Andrew Murakami (WU) defeated Joe Wales (WHTW), 6-3, 6-4
#3 - Colin Zalewski (WHTW) defeated Cody Ferguson (WU), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3)
#4 - Henry Williams (WHTW) defeated Micah Mack (WU), 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-2
#5 - Alex Sepenzis (WU) defeated Colin Barrett (WHTW), 6-4, 6-4
#6 - Kellen Oetgen (WHTW) defeated Michael Moore (WU), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

Doubles
#1 - Houser and Murakami (WU) defeated Shelton and Wales (WHTW), 8-4
#2 - Ferguson and Mack (WU) defeated Zalewski and Williams (WHTW), 8-6
#3 - Sepenzis and Moore (WU) defeated Barrett and Oetgen (WHTW), 8-5

Records:
Willamette University is 1-0 overall, 1-0 in the NWC. Whitworth University is 2-3 overall, 2-2 in the NWC.

MATCH RESULTS
Willamette University 5
Whitworth University 4
Alex Sepenzis gave the 'Cats the decisive win at #5 singles. He also combined with Michael Moore to win at #3 doubles.

Alex Sepenzis gave the 'Cats the decisive win at #5 singles. He also combined with Michael Moore to win at #3 doubles.