Willamette Wins Five Singles Matches to Rally Past Linfield, 6-3

Baumgartner Defeats Magdaong at #1 Singles, 6-2, 6-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University trailed Linfield College 2-1 following the doubles matches, but gained wins at five of the six singles positions to rally past the Wildcats, 6-3, in Northwest Conference men's tennis action on Saturday, March 5. Willamette advanced both its overall record and its NWC record to 3-1. Linfield dropped to 2-4 overall, 2-4 in the NWC.

Michael Baumgartner (So., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) led Willamette's charge through the singles matches, as he defeated Mark Magdaong in the #1 singles match, 6-2, 6-3. Baumgartner earned a key service break to take a 5-2 lead in the first set on his way to the victory.

The win by Baumgartner clinched the overall match for WU, giving the Bearcats a 5-2 advantage with #4 and #6 singles still in action.

"Baumgartner had a big win at #1 singles over a player he had lost to last time against Linfield," WU Head Coach Toby Krauel said.

Linfield played well in doubles, as the Wildcats claimed wins at the #1 and #2 positions.

At #1 doubles, Magdaong and Brent Kingzett held off Baumgartner and Cody Ferguson (Jr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.), 8-5. The Wildcats won #2 doubles by another 8-5 score, as Cody Levien and Zachery Lyons gained the edge over Joshua Wong (So., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Garrett Vincent (Fr., Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep/Bellevue CC).

Willamette kept within striking distance of Linfield by winning #3 doubles. Matthew Houser (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) and Will Cooper (Fr., Gresham, OR/Centennial HS) downed Tal DeWitt and Tim Wagar, 8-4.

Once the contest entered the singles matches, Willamette began to rally behind solid play throughout the lineup.

"It was good to bounce back from the doubles and win the singles," Krauel said. "It was a good win."

Ferguson tied the overall match at 2-2 by defeated DeWitt at #3 singles, 6-3, 6-0. The Bearcats moved in front when Wong moved past Levien, 6-1, 6-2. Vincent pulled away from Lyons late in the first set and went on to win #5 singles for Willamette, 6-3, 6-0.

Although Willamette clinched the win with two singles matches still underway, there was plenty of action left. Houser of WU won a competitive match over Kingzett, 6-3, 6-3 at #4 singles. Wagar of Linfield won #6 singles against Cooper, claiming a narrow victory in a super tie-breaker, 6-4, 3-6, 12-10.

"Matt Houser won in both singles and doubles and played well. The senior captain stepped up," Krauel said.

Willamette was playing it's first match since Feb. 25, when the Bearcats rolled past Lewis & Clark College, 9-0. The Bearcats will return to the courts for two matches in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, March 12 against the University of Puget Sound at 11 a.m. (PST) and versus Pacific Lutheran University at 2 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 6
Linfield College 3

Michael Baumgartner led WU's surge in singles, as he downed Mark Magdaong, 6-2, 6-3.

Michael Baumgartner led WU's surge in singles, as he downed Mark Magdaong, 6-2, 6-3.