Lutes Rally in Singles to Defeat Bearcats, 5-4

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

PARKLAND, WASH. -- Willamette University won all three doubles matches, but Pacific Lutheran University won five of six singles matches, including a pair of three-set victories, to defeat the Bearcats, 5-4. The score was tied at 4-4 until Joel Trudel of PLU defeated Joshua Wong (Fr., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) of Willamette at #1 singles, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.

The Lutes upped their record to 11-9 overall, 9-5 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 9-6 overall, 9-4 in the Northwest Conference.

Willamette, which defeated PLU, 6-3, in Salem, Ore., on Feb. 26, is one-half match in front of the Lutes in the NWC standings. The Bearcats currently hold third place (9-4), while Whitworth University is fourth (8-4) and Pacific Lutheran is fifth (9-5).

WU and PLU have already clinched spots in the six-team NWC Tournament, set for April 16-17 in Yakima, Wash.

The Bearcats looked sharp during doubles play, as Willamette built a 3-0 lead. Wong and Cody Ferguson (So., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.) defeated Trudel and Justin Peterson, 8-6. Trudel and Peterson are ranked #4 in doubles and Trudel is ranked #10 in singles in the West Region.

At #2 doubles, Micah Mack (Sr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) and Matthew Houser (Jr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) downed Michael Manser and Scott Sheldon, 8-4. Michael Baumgartner (Fr., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Luke Lagattuta (Sr., Albuquerque, NM/Highland HS) completed the doubles sweep with an 8-6 win over Taylor Dickey and Brent Smoots.

Trudel's victory at #1 singles was one of PLU's two three-set wins. The other was earned by Peterson, who outlasted Ferguson, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, at #3 singles. Baumgartner achieved Willamette's only single triumphs, as he defeated Kevin Floyd in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

Willamette will host Linfield College in a Northwest Conference match on Tuesday, April 6. Match time at the WU Tennis Courts is set for 3 p.m. (PDT).

Saturday, April 3
At PLU Tennis Courts, Parkland, Wash.

Pacific Lutheran University 5, Willamette University 4

Singles
#1 - Joel Trudel (PLU) defeated Joshua Wong (WU), 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2
#2 - Michael Baumgartner (WU) defeated Kevin Floyd (PLU), 6-2, 6-1
#3 - Justin Peterson (PLU) defeated Cody Ferguson (WU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
#4 - Michael Manser (PLU) defeated Matthew Houser (WU), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
#5 - Scott Sheldon (PLU) defeated Luke Lagattuta (WU), 6-0, 6-1
#6 - Taylor Dickey (PLU) defeated Daniel McClellan (WU), 6-2, 6-1

Doubles
#1 - Wong and Ferguson (WU) defeated Trudel and Peterson (PLU), 8-6
#2 - Micah Mack and Houser (WU) defeated Manser and Sheldon (PLU), 8-4
#3 - Baumgartner and Lagattuta (WU) defeated Dickey and Brent Smoots (PLU), 8-6

Records:

Pacific Lutheran University is 11-9 overall, 9-5 NWC. Willamette University is 9-6 overall, 9-4 NWC.

BOX SCORE
Pacific Lutheran University 5
Willamette University 4
Michael Baumgartner won #2 singles and teamed with Luke Lagattuta to win #3 doubles.

Michael Baumgartner won #2 singles and teamed with Luke Lagattuta to win #3 doubles.