Willamette Opens Season with 7-2 Win over Puget Sound

Bearcats Sweep Doubles and Take Four Victories in Singles

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University opened the 2011 women's tennis season on Saturday, Feb. 12 with a 7-2 victory over the University of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference match at the Courthouse Tennis Club. The Bearcats built an early lead by sweeping the three doubles matches, and then won four of the six singles matches.

Willamette, playing its season opener, went to 1-0 overall, 1-0 in the NWC. Puget Sound fell to 0-2 on the season, 0-2 in the NWC.

At #1 doubles, WU's top team of Natalia Agarycheva (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) and Shannon Palmer (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) defeated the Puget Sound team of Madison Holtz and Maddie Thiesse, 8-1. At #2 doubles, Katie Huber (So., St. Peter, MN/St. Peter HS) and teammate Emily Bee (Jr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) of Willamette outlasted Logan Thompson and Marissa Friedman of UPS, 8-6.

In the #3 doubles match, Fabi Dieguez (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS/Oregon State Univ.) and Sabrina Gutierrez (Fr., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) provided WU with an 8-3 triumph over Jenna Gerdsen and Ada Yu.

Agarycheva, who finished last season ranked #5 in the West Region of NCAA Division III, won #1 singles for Willamette by defeating Holtz, 6-1, 6-0. Palmer also won in straight sets for the Bearcats, 6-2, 6-0, over Thiesse.

The Bearcats also registered wins at #3 and #5 singles. Huber claimed the victory in the #3 match, as she downed Gerdsen, 6-3, 6-1. Gutierrez defeated Yu at #5 singles, 6-1, 6-0.

Puget Sound earned victories at #4 and #6 singles. Thompson held off a challenge from Dieguez in the second set to take a 6-1, 6-4 win at #4 singles. In the battle at #6 singles, Friedman edged out Bee 6-3 in the first set before winning a tie-breaker in the second set, 7-6 (7-5).

Willamette will compete at the Courthouse Tennis Club again on Sunday, Feb. 13, when the Bearcats host Portland State University from NCAA Division I. Match time is scheduled for 11 a.m. (PST).

Willamette University 7
University of Puget Sound 2
Shannon Palmer of WU won #2 singles over Maddie Thiesse, 6-2, 6-0.

Shannon Palmer of WU won #2 singles over Maddie Thiesse, 6-2, 6-0.