#17 Redlands Defeats Willamette, 8-1, in California

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

REDLANDS, CALIF. -- The University of Redlands, ranked #17 in NCAA Division III men's tennis by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), defeated Willamette University, 8-1, as the Bearcats opened their Spring Break trip to California on Saturday, March 19. Redlands, also ranked #4 in the West Region, improved to 6-6 on the season. Willamette, ranked #11 in the West Region, fell to 6-2.

Redlands earned a 2-1 advantage during the doubles matches, but Willamette almost had the lead instead.

The narrow margin was earned at #1 doubles, where the Redlands team of Cameron Spearman and Anish Nanda, ranked #5 in the region, downed Michael Baumgartner (So., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Matthew Houser (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-4).

Baumgartner and Houser held one match point before Spearman and Nanda rallied to force the tie-breaker.

Each squad was victorious in one of the other doubles matches.

At #2 doubles, Willamette won 8-3 behind the efforts of Joshua Wong (So., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Cody Ferguson (Jr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.), who defeated Jeff Hammond and Keven Wong. At #3 doubles, Connor Hyde and Mark Bloom of Redlands moved past Garrett Vincent (Fr., Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep/Bellevue CC) and Will Cooper (Gresham, OR/Centennial HS), 8-2.

The Bulldogs triumphed in all six singles matches, but faced solid competition from the Bearcats, especially at the top two positions.

In #1 singles, Baumgartner, ranked #26 in the West Region, made Spearman, ranked #8, work for both sets. Spearman won 6-4, 7-6, after taking the second-set tie-breaker, 8-6.

Hyde of Redlands edged out Joshua Wong in a tie-breaker during the first set at #2 singles. Hyde, ranked #29 in the West Region, eventually won the match, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Willamette will continue its Spring Break road trip on Sunday, March 20 with a match against California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). Match time is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).

The Bearcats have added a match against Northwest Conference rival George Fox University on Monday, March 21 at 10 a.m. (PDT). The Bruins, who are also in California for Spring Break, were originally scheduled to host Willamette on Friday, March 4 in Newberg, Ore., but the match was postponed due to the weather.

On Monday, Willamette and George Fox will compete at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.

University of Redlands 8
Willamette University 1
Cody Ferguson of Willamette University

Cody Ferguson of Willamette University