Palmer Honored as NWC Student-Athlete of the Week

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University freshman Shannon Palmer (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) has been chosen as the Northwest Conference Women's Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week for matches played between March 2 and March 8. Palmer went 3-0 at #1 singles and 3-0 at #1 doubles to lead Willamette to three victories during the week.

Willamette opened the week by defeating conference rival Pacific Lutheran University, 8-1, on Friday, March 6. The Bearcats played two matches on Sunday, March 8. WU defeated non-conference opponent College of Idaho, 5-4, and downed NWC foe George Fox University, 8-1. Willamette is 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the NWC.

Palmer defeated all three of her singles opponents in straight sets, while playing for the first time since missing four consecutive matches due to illness and injury. She swept past Ashley Brooks of Pacific Lutheran, 6-1, 6-3, rolled by Kate Leadbetter from the College of Idaho, 6-0, 6-1, and downed Mollee Robinson of George Fox, 6-2, 6-1.

In doubles, Palmer teamed with Abby Funabiki (Sr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS/Quinnipiac Univ.) to win three close contests. The Willamette duo edged Pacific Lutheran's top doubles team of Brooks and Ashley Coats, 8-6. Palmer and Funabiki also defeated Leadbetter and Kim Clements from the College of Idaho, 8-6, and slipped past Robinson and Corinne Borrelli of GFU in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (11-9).

Palmer has made significant contributions to the WU tennis team in her first year as a collegiate player. This past fall, she finished in second place in singles at the Wilson/ITA Small College Northwest Regional Championship, hosted by Willamette. She lost in the championship match to Elise Otto from Whitman College. Palmer and Funabiki advanced to the semifinals of the Northwest Regional in doubles.

Shannon Palmer was undefeated in singles and doubles to help Willamette go 3-0 during the week.

Shannon Palmer was undefeated in singles and doubles to help Willamette go 3-0 during the week.