Palmer Helps Bearcats Edge La Verne, 5-4, in Women's Tennis

Willamette Wins Top Three Singles Matches

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University won the top three singles matches on its way to a 5-4 victory over the visiting University of La Verne on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Courthouse Tennis Center. The Bearcats improved to 2-0 on the season. The Leopards from La Verne dropped to 3-1.

Shannon Palmer (Sr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) won #1 singles for the Bearcats, as she defeated Laina Matsuda, 6-0, 7-5. Palmer is ranked #21 in the West Region of NCAA Division III in singles.

Palmer and Sabrina Gutierrez (So., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS), who are ranked #11 in doubles in the West Region in doubles, defeated Matsuda and Allison Moncrief of La Verne, 8-4, in the top doubles match. The Bearcats also won #2 doubles, as Emily Bee (Sr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Denise Poltavski (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) rolled past Tarika Krishnamurthy and Carly Tucker, 8-4.

La Verne took the #3 doubles match. Brooke Hines and Valerie Lezin won a close match for the Leopards, as they rallied past Katie Huber (Jr., St. Peter, MN/St. Peter HS) and Emily Funabiki (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-3).

Willamette clinched the overall win by claiming straight-set victories in the top three singles matches. Palmer led the way, with Gutierrez winning at #2 singles and Poltavski prevailing at #3 singles. Gutierrez claimed a solid 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Krishnamurthy. Poltavski easily defeated Moncrief, 6-1, 6-0.

The Leopards earned wins at #4, #5 and #6 singles. Even so, the matches at #5 and #6 were close. Hines outlasted Bee in the #5 match, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). Lezin rallied from a set down to defeat Hailey Arnold (Fr., Winnetka, IL/Lake Forest Academy) of Willamette in three sets at #6 singles, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. At #4 singles, Tucker of La Verne downed Huber, 6-0, 6-2.

Willamette will host Whitman College in a Northwest Conference match on Monday (Feb. 20) at the Courthouse Tennis Center at 12:30 p.m. (PST).

Willamette University 5
University of La Verne 4
Shannon Palmer was victorious at #1 singles over Laina Matsuda, 6-0, 7-5.

Shannon Palmer was victorious at #1 singles over Laina Matsuda, 6-0, 7-5.