Bearcats Roll Past Bruins, 6-3, Secure NWC Tournament Berth

Wong Achieves Wins at #2 Singles and #2 Doubles

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's tennis team completed its regular season schedule with a 6-3 victory over visiting George Fox University at the WU Tennis Courts on Saturday, April 9. The Bearcats, who have clinched an NWC Tournament berth, advanced their record to 12-5 on the season, 11-1 in the NWC. George Fox finished its season at 6-10 overall, 5-7 in the NWC.

Willamette built a 2-1 lead with wins at #1 and #2 doubles. In the top doubles match, Michael Baumgartner (So., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Matthew Houser (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS) combined to defeat Josiah Jackson and Peter Brown of GFU, 8-5. At #2 doubles, Joshua Wong (So., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Cody Ferguson (Jr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.) easily moved past Justin McClain and Preston Mann.

The Bruins gained a triumph at #3 doubles, as Scott Barnett and Nolan Staples downed Garrett Vincent (Fr., Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep/Bellevue CC) and Cameron Thompson (So., Torrance, CA/North Torrance HS), 8-5.

WU added wins at #2, #3, #4 and #5 singles to finish the match. Wong won a close first set, before surging past Barnett at #2 singles, 6-4, 6-0. Ferguson claimed the #3 singles match, 6-2, 6-1, over McClain. Houser outlasted Jackson at #4 singles, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5, winning in a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set. Vincent held off Peter Brown of George Fox at #5 singles, 6-4, 7-5.

Mann won #1 singles for the Bruins, as he won a competitive battle with Baumgartner of WU, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3. George Fox also won at #6 singles, where Staples defeated Zach Hutchinson (Sr., Casper, WY/Kelly Walsh HS), 6-3, 6-1.

In addition to clinching a spot in the NWC Tournament, the Bearcats also clinched at least a second place finish in the NWC standings. Whitman College, which has already secured the top seed and home court advantage in the tournament (April 16-17), will have outright possession of first place with a win over Pacific Lutheran on Sunday (April 10). If the Missionaries lose, Willamette and Whitman will tie for the title.

Willamette will open the tournament against the #3-seed, Whitworth University, on Saturday, April 16 in Walla Walla, Wash. In the other first round match-up, Whitman will take on the #4 seed, Pacific University. The semifinal winners will meet on Sunday, April 17 to determine the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 6
George Fox University 3
Joshua Wong defeated Scott Barnett at #2 singles, 6-4, 6-0.

Joshua Wong defeated Scott Barnett at #2 singles, 6-4, 6-0.