Willamette Wins Five Singles Matches to Down Pacific, 6-3

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

BEAVERTON, ORE. -- Willamette University rallied from a 2-1 deficit following the doubles matches, and three WU players rallied after losing a set in singles, as the Bearcats defeated Pacific University, 6-3, in a Northwest Conference match, Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center. WU improved to 3-1 on the season, 3-1 in the NWC. Pacific fell to 2-5 overall, 2-5 in the NWC.

The Bearcats won five of six singles matches to earn the win. Willamette players who rallied for victories were Matt Houser (So., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) at #2 singles, Alex Sepenzis (Sr., Denver, CO/Cherry Creek HS) at #5 singles and Michael Moore (So., Seattle, WA/Lakeside HS) at #6 singles.

Houser lost the the first set to Micah Leo before winning his match, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Moore's comeback led to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Hector Alcayde.

Sepenzis split the first two sets with Nhat Nguyen, with Nguyen taking the first set 7-5 and Sepenzis earning a 6-2 win in the second. Willamette had already clinched the overall match, so #5 singles was decided by a super tie-breaker, with Sepenzis downing Nguyen, 10-4.

Andrew Murakami (Sr., Wahiawa, HI/Leilehua HS/Univ. of Redlands) set the stage for WU's comeback by winning #1 singles over Pacific's Michael Okada, 7-5, 6-0. Cody Ferguson (Fr., North Bend, OR/Western Oregon University) also won for Willamette in straight sets, as he took #3 singles, 6-4, 6-2, over Spencer Hing.

Pacific's only win in singles was registered by Eric Furuya at the #4 position. He rallied from a set down to defeat Micah Mack (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS), 5-7, 6-4,6-0.

The Boxers built their early lead with triumphs at #1 and #3 doubles. The top doubles match was won Leo and Hing, 8-4, over Murakami and Houser.

Willamette won #2 doubles behind the efforts of Ferguson and Mack. They combined to defeat Okada and Furuya, 8-3.

The 'Cats will play again on Sunday, March 1, when they host Lewis & Clark College at the Courthouse Tennis Club. Match time is slated for 4 p.m. (PST).

Saturday, Feb. 28
At Tualatin Hills Tennis Center, Beaverton, Ore.

Singles
#1 - Andrew Murakami (WU) defeated Michael Okada (PAC), 7-5, 6-0
#2 - Matt Houser (WU) defeated Micah Leo (PAC), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
#3 - Cody Ferguson (WU) defeated Spencer Hing (PAC), 6-4, 6-2
#4 - Eric Furuya (PAC) defeated Micah Mack (WU), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0
#5 - Alex Sepenzis (WU) defeated Nhat Nguyen (PAC), 5-7, 6-2, 10-4*
#6 - Michael Moore (WU) defeated Hector Alcayde (PAC), 4-6, 6-2, 6-0

Doubles
#1 - Leo and Hing (PAC) defeated Murakami and Houser (WU), 8-4
#2 - Ferguson and Mack (WU) defeated Okada and Furuya (PAC), 8-3
#3 - Nguyen and Patrick Kinghorn (PAC) defeated Sepenzis and Moore (WU), 8-6

* Tie-breaker played instead of a third set

Records:
Willamette is 3-1 overall, 3-1 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific is 2-5 overall, 2-5 in the NWC.

MATCH RESULTS
Willamette University 6
Pacific University 3
Matt Houser rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Mica Leo of Pacific.

Matt Houser rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Mica Leo of Pacific.