Willamette Battles Past Lewis & Clark, 6-3

Bee Clinches Match with Win at #5 Singles

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University took a 2-1 lead in doubles and then held off Lewis & Clark College in singles, as the Bearcats defeated the Pioneers 6-3 at the Courthouse Tennis Club on Sunday, March 13. WU had momentum following the doubles matches, but owned just a 4-3 advantage with two singles matches still in progress.

The Bearcats advanced their record to 6-4 on the season, 6-3 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark moved to 2-7 overall, 2-5 in the NWC.

Emily Bee (Jr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) provided Willamette with the match-clinching team point by earning a 7-5, 6-2 win over Makena McCluskey at #5 singles, giving WU a 5-3 lead. Sabrina Gutierrez (Fr., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) of WU defeated Isabelle Borris of L&C at #3 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, for the Bearcats' final margin of victory.

The teams each picked up two wins out of the first four singles matches to be completed. For Willamette, Natalia Agarycheva (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS/U. of Northern Colorado) triumphed at #1 singles over Amalia Nilsson, 6-3, 6-0, and Shannon Palmer (Jr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) won #2 singles over Whitney DeBree, 6-4, 6-2.

Jill Coleman of L&C downed Jamie Slonaker (Sr., Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS), 6-4, 6-0 at #4 singles. The Pioneers also earned a victory at #6 singles, as Olivia Sweetman won a tie-breaker in the first set on her way past Brooke Sessums (Sr., Stayton, OR/Stayton HS), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Willamette claimed the early lead by defeating L&C at #1 and #3 doubles. In the top doubles match, Agarycheva and Palmer outscored Nilsson and Borris, 8-5. At #3 doubles, Bee and Joanna Sterngold (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/San Pasqual HS) held off McCluskey and Sweetman, 8-6.

L&C's one win in singles was at the #2 position, where DeBree and Coleman edged out Gutierrez and Emily Funabiki (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS), 8-6.

The Bearcats have won five of their last six matches. Leading the way has been Agarycheva, ranked #5 in the West Region of NCAA Division III in singles. Agarycheva is 8-1 on the season, including 8-0 in NWC matches. Agarycheva and Palmer are 9-1 in doubles with a 9-0 record versus NWC opponents.

Willamette will host Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) on Tuesday, March 15. Match time at the Courthouse Tennis Club is set for 10 a.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 6
Lewis & Clark College 3
Emily Bee earned the match-clinching point with a victory at #5 singles.

Emily Bee earned the match-clinching point with a victory at #5 singles.