Whitman Edges Willamette in Women's Tennis, 5-4

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Whitman College edged past Willamette University, 5-4, in a Northwest Conference women's tennis match on Sunday, February 20. The team result was not decided until the final match of the day.

Whitman improved to 1-2, 1-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 1-3 overall, 1-2 in the NWC.

With the team score tied 4-4, first-year Whitman junior Lizzy Schiller outlasted Willamette's Emily Bee (Jr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) at #5 singles in a third-set tie-breaker, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), to lift the Missionaries to the win.

The Bearcats trailed 2-1 after the doubles competition. Natalia Agarycheva (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) and Shannon Palmer (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) of Willamette won #1 doubles over Elise Otto and Alyssa Roberg, 8-2, but Whitman was victorious at #2 doubles and #3 doubles.

Willamette pulled into the lead by winning three of the first four singles matches to be completed.

Agarycheva triumphed in a competitive match at #1 singles, as she downed Roberg in a first set tie-breaker before winning in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Otto of Whitman defeated Palmer in the #2 singles match, 6-4, 6-3.

Katie Huber (So., St. Peter, MN/St. Peter HS) from WU prevailed at #3 singles for the Bearcats, rallying past Emily Rolston, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. At #4 singles, Sabrina Gutierrez (Fr., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) won a tight first set, 6-4, before moving past Kate Kunkel-Patterson of Whitman in the second set, 6-1. The Bearcats were in front, 4-3, in the team standings.

Hannah Palkowitz won for the Missionaries against Emily Funabiki (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) of Willamette at #6 singles, 6-0, 6-3. The win by Palkowitz tied the team score. Schiller's victory over Bee in the lengthy match at #5 singles provided Whitman with the winning point.

The Bearcats will return to the courts on Friday, Feb. 25 at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. Action in the Northwest Conference match is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. (PST).

Whitman College 5
Willamette University 4
Natalia Agarycheva earned victories at #1 singles and #1 doubles.

Natalia Agarycheva earned victories at #1 singles and #1 doubles.