Whitman Defeats Willamette for NWC Tournament Title

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Whitman College, ranked #22 in the nation in NCAA Division III, defeated Willamette University, 5-0, in finals of Northwest Conference Tournament on Sunday, April 17 at the Whitman Outdoor Courts. The Missionaries won all three doubles matches and added wins at #2 singles and #4 singles to clinch the victory.

Whitman, ranked #7 in the West Region, earned the NWC's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Tournament. The Missionaries, who went 12-0 to claim the NWC Championship in the regular season, moved to 16-6 overall with Sunday's win.

The loss concluded the dual match season for Willamette with a 13-6 overall record. The Bearcats, who are ranked #11 in the West Region, placed second in the NWC at 11-1 during the regular season.

At #1 doubles, the Whitman duo of Conor Holton-Burke and Andrew La Cava defeated Willamette's Michael Baumgartner (So., Albany, OR/West Albany HS) and Matthew Houser (Sr., Vancouver, WA/Evergreen HS), 8-3.

Etienne Moshevich and Jeff Tolman won for the Missionaries at #2 doubles against Joshua Wong (So., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS) and Cody Ferguson (Jr., North Bend, OR/North Bend HS/Western Oregon Univ.), 8-2. The Missionaries also won #3 doubles, as Quin Miller and Matt Tesmond downed Garrett Vincent (Fr., Seattle, WA/Seattle Prep/Bellevue CC) and Cameron Thompson (So., Torrance, CA/North Torrance HS), 8-1.

The singles matches were highly competitive, but Whitman was able to gain an edge and achieve victories in the first two matches to be completed. At #2 singles, La Cava held off Baumgartner, 7-5, 6-2, and at #4 singles Tolman won straight sets by narrow margins to defeat Houser, 7-5, 6-4.

Two other battles were underway in singles when the overall match ended. In the #1 singles match, Holton-Burke won the first set against Wong, 6-3, but Wong owned a 3-2 edge in the second set when play was stopped. At #3 singles, Moshevich carried the first set, 6-2, and held a slim 4-3 lead in the second set.

Action had not yet started at #5 singles and #6 singles when the Missionaries registered the fifth team point to end the match.

Willamette will return to action with singles and doubles play at the Ojai Tournament in Ojai, Calif., on May 1.

BOX SCORE

NWC Tournament Final
At Walla Walla, Wash.

Whitman College 5
Willamette University 0

Sophomore tennis player Michael Baumgartner

Sophomore tennis player Michael Baumgartner