Willamette Sweeps Doubles, Defeats George Fox, 6-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University won all three doubles matches, starting the Bearcats on their way to a 6-3 victory over George Fox University in a Northwest Conference women's tennis match on Friday, March 5. The win, earned indoors at the Courthouse Tennis Club, lifted Willamette's season record to 4-3, including 4-2 in the NWC. George Fox slipped to 2-3 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats swept through the 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) easily moved past Molly Beaumont and Alyssa Emoto, 8-2. At #2 doubles Sabrina Gutierrez (Fr., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) and Jamie Slonaker (Sr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) downed Shaina Inn and Cara Griffith of GFU, 8-3.

Willamette's 3-0 start was completed at #3 doubles by Katie Huber (So., St. Peter, MN/St. Peter HS) and Emily Bee (Jr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS). Huber and Bee lost just one game in rolling past Bethany Nguyen and Liliya Abildayeva, 8-1.

Agarycheva did not play singles. Huber moved up from #3 singles to compete at the #1 position. She provided a solid effort before losing to Beaumont of George Fox. Beaumont won in a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set., 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 10-5.

Palmer prevailed at #2 singles over Emoto by holding off the Bruin player in the first set, 7-5, and then breezing through the second set, 6-1.

Also winning for WU in singles were Gutierrez as the #3 position and Slonaker at #5. Gutierrez downed Inn, 6-2, 6-0, while Slonaker defeated Nguyen, 6-2, 6-1.

In addition to Beaumont's victory at #1 singles, George Fox also earned wins at #4 and #6 singles. At #4, Griffith edged out Bee in a close match, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). At #6, Abildayeva won by slim margins in both sets against Lindsay Michaelson (Fr., Mililani, HI/Leilehua HS) of Willamette, 6-4, 6-4.

The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, March 5 with a contest on the road at Linfield College. Match time is scheduled for 10 a.m. (PST).

Willamette University 6
George Fox University 3
Shannon Palmer was victorious at #2 singles against Alyssa Emoto, 7-5, 6-1

Shannon Palmer was victorious at #2 singles against Alyssa Emoto, 7-5, 6-1