Whitman Defeats Bearcats, 5-1, for NCAA Automatic Bid

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

YAKIMA, WASH. -- Whitman College, ranked #20 in NCAA Division III, defeated Willamette University, 5-1, in the Northwest Conference championship game on Saturday, April 17 at the Yakima Tennis Club. With the win, Whitman claimed the NWC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The Missionaries, who also are ranked #5 in the West Region, improved to 20-4 on the season. Willamette, ranked #10 in the West Region, ended its dual match season at 13-8 overall.

Whitman was in front, 2-1, after the doubles matches. Willamette's win was at #2 doubles, where Matthew Houser (Jr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) and Micah Mack (Sr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) defeated Christoph Fuchs and Quin Miller, 8-5.

Matt Solomon and Etienne Moshevich won #1 doubles for Whitman, as they downed Joshua Wong (Fr., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Michael Baumgartner (Fr., Albany, OR/West Albany HS), 8-1. The Missionaries also won #3 doubles, with Jeff Tolman and Conor Holton-Burke holding off Baumgartner and Luke Lagattuta (Sr., Albuquerque, NM/Highland HS), 8-5.

Wins at #2, #5 and #6 singles allowed Whitman to secure the overall victory. Tolman recorded the win at #2 singles over Baumgartner, 6-4, 6-3. Fuchs triumphed at #5 against Lagattuta, 6-1, 6-0, and Holton-Burke was victorious at #6 versus Mack, 6-3, 6-2.

Matches at #1, #3 and #4 singles were not completed when the team title was determined. The Missionaries will compete at the NCAA Divison III Tournament, which begins May 14-16 and finishes with the finals at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, May 25-30.

Whitman won the NWC championship by taking first place during the regular season double round-robin conference schedule. The Missionaries went 16-0 in the NWC. Willamette tied for third place in the conference with an 11-5 record. The NWC Tournament is used only to determine the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Although the dual match season has concluded, the Bearcats still have one more competition this spring. Wong, Baumgartner, Ferguson and Houser will represent Willamette in singles and doubles at the prestigious Ojai Tournament in Ojai, Calif., April 22-24.

Saturday, April 17
NWC Tournament Championship Match
At Yakima Tennis Club, Yakima, Wash.

Whitman College 5, Willamette University 1

#1 - Matt Solomon (WTMN) vs. Joshua Wong (WU), did not finish
#2 - Jeff Tolman (WTMN) defeated Michael Baumgartner (WU), 6-4, 6-3
#3 - Etienne Moshevich (WTMN) vs. Cody Ferguson (WU), did not finish
#4 - Chris Bailey (WTMN) vs. Matthew Houser (WU), did not finish
#5 - Christoph Fuchs (WTMN) defeated Luke Lagattuta (WU), 6-1, 6-0
#6 - Conor Holton-Burke (WTMN) defeated Micah Mack (WU), 6-3, 6-2

#1 - Moshevich and Solomon (WTMN) defeated Wong and Ferguson (WU), 8-1
#2 - Houser and Mack (WU) defeated Fuchs and Quin Miller (WTMN), 8-5
#3 - Tolman and Holton-Burke (WTMN) defeated Baumgartner and Lagattuta (WU), 8-5

Whitman College is 20-4 overall. Willamette University ended its dual match season at 13-8 overall.

Whitman College 5
Willamette University 1
NWC Tournament - Championship
Matthew Houser (above) and Micah Mack combined to defeat Christoph Fuchs and Quin Miller at #2 doubles, 8-5.

Matthew Houser (above) and Micah Mack combined to defeat Christoph Fuchs and Quin Miller at #2 doubles, 8-5.