Murakami and Houser Fall to Seeded Opponents in Second Round of Ojai Tournament

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

OJAI, CALIF. -- Willamette University men's tennis players Andrew Murakami (Sr., Wahiawa, HI/Leilehua HS/Univ. of Redlands) and Matt Houser (So., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) both fell to seeded opponents in the second round of the Ojai Valley Tournament on Friday, April 24 after recording victories in the first round.

Murakami was defeated by the #6 seed, Jared Kamel from the University of California-Santa Cruz, 6-1, 6-1, in the Men's Division III Singles bracket. House lost to Augusto Elias from Concordia University (Calif.), 6-3, 6-0, in the Men's Independent College Singles bracket.

Earlier on Friday, Murakami defeated Grant Friedman of Pomona-Pitzer, 6-4, 6-1. Houser opened the tournament by rolling past Drew Cohn, also from Pomona-Pitzer, 6-1, 6-3.

Murakami concluded the spring season with an overall record of 13-7 in singles. Houser finished with a 13-8 singles record.

Other Willamette tennis players competing in singles were Cody Ferguson (Fr., North Bend, OR/North Bend, HS/Western Oregon Univ.) and Alex Sepenzis (Sr., Denver, CO/Cherry Creek HS).

Ferguson lost in the first round of the Men's Division III Singles to Russell Brockett of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 6-1, 6-2. Sepenzis was defeated by Martin Vaisse of California Baptist University, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round of the Men's Independent College Singles.

In doubles, Murakami and Sepenzis were entered in the Men's Independent College bracket. Ferguson and Houser competed in the Men's Division III bracket.

Travis Albaugh and Landon Hilker of Point Loma Nazarene University, seeded #7, downed Murakami and Sepenzis, 6-2, 6-2. Ferguson and Houser fell to Jeff Hammond and Kevin Wong from the University of Redlands in a pro set, 8-4.

The Ojai Tournament completed the spring schedule for Willamette. The Bearcats were 10-9 in dual matches and advanced to the semifinals of the Northwest Conference Tournament before losing to eventual champion Whitman College.

Head Coach Toby Krauel was in his first season with the Bearcats. Murakami and Sepenzis were the teams only seniors. Even so, the 'Cats will have a solid group of returning players for 2009-10.

Andrew Murakami finished the spring season with a 13-7 singles record.

Andrew Murakami finished the spring season with a 13-7 singles record.