Willamette Wins Home Matches against College of Idaho and George Fox

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Shannon Palmer (Fr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) achieved a combined record of 4-0 to lead Willamette University to a pair of women's tennis victories on Sunday, March 8 at the Courthouse Tennis Club. In the morning match, WU held off the College of Idaho for a 5-4 win. The Bearcats also won the afternoon match, as they downed George Fox University, 8-1. Palmer won two matches at #1 singles and two matches at #1 doubles during the day.

Willamette, which has won three consecutive matches, improved to 4-6 on the season, 3-5 in the Northwest Conference. George Fox fell to 2-6 overall, 2-6 in the NWC. The College of Idaho dropped to 1-3 overall.

In the win over the College of Idaho, Palmer defeated Kate Leadbetter in the top singles match, 6-0, 6-1. Later in the day, Palmer easily downed Mollee Robinson of George Fox, 6-2, 6-1.

Palmer teamed with Abby Funabiki (Sr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS/Quinnipiac University) at #1 doubles. They defeated Leadbetter and Kim Clements from the College of Idaho, 8-6, and edged out Robinson and Corinne Borrelli of George Fox in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (11-9).

Palmer and Funabiki led 5-2 against Robinson and Borrelli, but the GFU players rallied to force the tie-breaker. Willamette had to overcome five match points, before Palmer and Funabiki eventually prevailed.

Against the Lady Yotes from C of I, Willamette swept the doubles matches. In addition to the win from Palmer and Funabiki, the Bearcats also received doubles victories from Fabi Dieguez (Fr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS/Oregon State University) and Annika Moffett (Fr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) at #2 doubles and from Alyssa Morrison (Jr., Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) and Jamie Slonaker (So., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) at #3 doubles.

In the victory over the Lady Yotes from College of Idaho, several Bearcats competed in the singles lineup for the first time this season. Palmer's win moved Willamette close to clinching the match. Dieguez rallied past Amanda McEldowney, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, at #2 singles. The Lady Yotes won the matches from #3 through #6 singles.

The Bearcats also swept doubles against GFU. Dieguez and Moffett defeated Courtney Banks and Betsy Penman at #2 doubles, 8-4. Morrison and Slonaker combined to set down Shanna Lesire and Liliya Abildayev, 8-3.

Morrison also won at #2 singles, where she easily took the first set, 6-1, before edging Corinne Borrelli in the second set, 7-5. Banks registered GFU's only victory with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Dieguez at #3 singles.

Willamette will host two more opponents next weekend. The 'Cats will take on Whitworth University on Friday, March 13 at the Courthouse Tennis Club, starting at 7 p.m. (PDT).

WU will play Whitman College on Saturday, March 14 with action starting at 3 p.m. (PDT) at the WU Tennis Courts. If the match cannot be played outdoors, the Bearcats and the Missionaries will play at the Courthouse Tennis Club at 4 p.m.

Willamette University 5
College of Idaho 4
Willamette University 8
George Fox University 1