Murakami Earns First Team All-NWC and is Chosen Sportsman of the Year

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior Andrew Murakami (Wahiawa, HI/Leilehua HS/Univ. of Redlands) of Willamette University has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference and has been chosen NWC Sportsman of the Year for the 2008-09 men's tennis season. WU teammate Cody Ferguson (Fr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.) was selected Second Team All-NWC.

Murakami and Ferguson helped Willamette finish the regular season with a 9-7 record -- all against NWC opponents. The Bearcats qualified for the NWC Tournament and defeated Whitworth University, 5-3, in the first round. Willamette fell to eventual champion Whitman College in the semifinals and claimed fourth place in the tournament. WU concluded its dual match schedule with a 10-9 overall mark.

WU will close out the season at the prestigious Ojai Tournament. The event is scheduled for April 23-26 in Ojai, Calif.

The Bearcats have received excellent senior leadership from Murakami, who enters the Ojai Tournament with a seven-match winning streak in singles. His overall record in singles is 12-6, including 6-3 at the #1 position and 6-3 at #2. He owns a 6-2 doubles record when paired with Micah Mack (Jr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS), including 5-1 in the last six matches. Murakami is 12-7 in doubles for the season.

Murakami reached the quarterfinals in singles at the Wilson/ITA Small College Northwest Regional last fall. He advanced with Matt Houser (So., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) to the quarterfinals of the Northwest Regional in doubles.

Ferguson has provided WU with solid play throughout the spring. His singles record is 10-9, including six matches where the freshman has played at the #1 position. He gained a solid victory over Nick Reuss of Linfield College at #1 singles on March 21, winning 6-4, 6-1. Ferguson is 5-2 at #2 singles and 3-1 at #3 singles.

In doubles, Ferguson has attained a 14-5 overall record. He is 7-1 with Houser at #1 doubles and is 7-4 with Mack at the #1 and #2 positions. Ferguson and Houser enter the Ojai Tournament with a six-match winning streak.

A total of eight athletes were chosen First Team All-NWC. Six players earned Second Team honors. Joining Murakami on the First Team were Joel Trudel of Pacific Lutheran University, Vincent Groot from Lewis & Clark College, Kyle Anderson from Linfield, Michael Shelton of Whitworth and Whitman players Chris Bailey, Etienne Moshevich and Dan Wilson. Trudel was named NWC Player of the Year.

Andrew Murakami is 12-6 in singles and 12-7 in doubles this season.

Andrew Murakami is 12-6 in singles and 12-7 in doubles this season.