Willamette Defeats Linfield, 5-3, Advances to Championship Match

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110 and Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

YAKIMA, WASH. -- Willamette University defeated rival Linfield College, 5-3, in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference Men's Tennis Tournament on Friday, April 16 to advance to the championship match against Whitman College. In the other semifinal, Whitman defeated Pacific Lutheran University, 5-1.

The title match is scheduled to get underway at 12 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, April 17 at the Yakima Tennis Club. Willamette is playing in the NWC Tournament championship match for the first time since the conference changed to the team format for postseason play in 1999. The winner of the championship match will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Willamette won #1 and #3 doubles against the Wildcats to take the lead. The Bearcats then claimed victories at #2, #3, and #4 singles to secure the overall win.

Joshua Wong (Fr., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Cody Ferguson (So., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.) of WU battled back from deficits of 4-1 and 6-3 at #1 doubles to defeat Brent Kingzett and Mark Magdaong in a tie-breaker. Wong and Ferguson won 9-8 after surging through the tie-breaker by a 7-1 score.

At #3 doubles, Michael Baumgartner (Fr., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Luke Lagattuta (Sr., Albuquerque, NM/Highland HS) improved to 13-3 on the season for Willamette with an 8-5 victory over Cody Levien and Matt Kauffman.

Linfield's #2 doubles team of Kyle Anderson and Tal DeWitt downed Micah Mack (Sr., Wenatchee, WA/Wenatchee HS) and Matthew Houser (Jr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS), 8-4.

Magdaong won #1 singles for the Wildcats, as he defeated Wong, 6-3, 6-1. The Bearcats countered with wins by Baumgartner at #2 singles, Ferguson at #3 singles and Houser at #4 singles.

Baumgartner moved past Anderson, 6-3, 6-0, while Ferguson took charge in the second set for a 6-3, 6-0 result against DeWitt. Houser earned the winning point in the overall match by defeating Kingzett, 6-4, 6-3.

Linfield earned a win at #5 singles when Matt Levering downed Lagattuta, 6-1, 6-4. The #6 singles match between Levien of Linfield and Mack of Willamette was not finished when the Bearcats clinched the team victory.

WU, ranked #10 in the West Region, takes a 13-7 overall record into the championship match. Whitman, ranked #5 in the West and #20 in the nation, is 19-4 on the season. Linfield, ranked #9 in the West, concluded its season at 13-7.

Friday, April 16
NWC Tournament - Semifinals
At Yakima Tennis Club, Yakima, Wash.

Willamette University 5, Linfield College 3

#1 - Mark Magdaong (LIN) defeated Joshua Wong (WU), 6-3, 6-1
#2 - Michael Baumgartner (WU) defeated Kyle Anderson (LIN), 6-3, 6-0
#3 - Cody Ferguson (WU) defeated Tal DeWitt (LIN), 6-3, 6-1
#4 - Matthew Houser (WU) defeated Brent Kingzett (LIN), 6-4, 6-3
#5 - Matt Levering (LIN) defeated Luke Lagattuta (WU), 6-1, 6-4
#6 - Cody Levien (LIN) vs. Micah Mack (WU), did not finish

#1 - Wong and Ferguson (WU) defeated Kingzett and Magdaong (LIN), 9-8 (7-1)
#2 - Anderson and DeWitt (LIN) defeated Mack and Houser (WU), 8-4
#3 - Baumgartner and Lagattuta (WU) defeated Levien and Matt Kauffman (LIN), 8-5

Willamette University is 13-7 overall. Linfield College is 13-7 overall.

Willamette University 5
Linfield College 3
NWC Tournament - Semifinals
Michael Baumgartner won #2 singles in straight sets and claimed an 8-5 win with doubles partner Luke Lagattuta.

Michael Baumgartner won #2 singles in straight sets and claimed an 8-5 win with doubles partner Luke Lagattuta.