Bearcats Win Five Singles Matches, Defeat Lewis & Clark, 7-2

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University won five of six singles matches on their way to defeating Lewis & Clark College, 7-2, in a Northwest Conference women's tennis match at the Courthouse Tennis Center on Friday, March 3. The Bearcats, who opened the match with victories at #1 doubles and #3 doubles, improved to 3-2 on the season, 1-2 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark dropped to 0-4 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Shannon Palmer (Sr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) led the Bearcats with a win at #1 singles. Palmer earned a service break in the first set on her way to a 6-3 win, before taking the second set, 6-0.

Palmer also helped WU win #1 doubles, as she teamed up with Sabrina Gutierrez (So., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) to defeat Coleman and Olivia Sweetman, 8-2.

Lewis & Clark claimed #2 doubles, as Lisa Osepyan and Gillian Lowe held off Denise Poltavski (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) and Emily Bee (Sr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS), 8-6. The Bearcats prevailed at #3 doubles, 8-6, with Emily Funabiki (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS) and Elise Derby (Fr., Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) downing Makena McCluskey and Theresa Grigsby.

Willamette won the top three singles matches as well as #5 and #6 singles.

At #2 singles, Gutierrez won a hard-fought match over Osepyan, 6-3, 6-4, In the #3 singles match, Poltavski rallied after losing the first set and eventually won in a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set, 4-6, 7-5, 10-4.

L&C registered its only singles victory at the #4 position, where Sweetman battled back after dropping the first set to defeat Bee, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Funabiki of WU breezed through #5 singles to take a 6-1, 6-1 win over McCluskey. At #6 singles, Derby outlasted Elise Alway in a pair of close sets, 6-4, 6-4.

It was Willamette's second win against L&C this spring. WU defeated the Pioneers, 6-3, in the season on Feb. 10 in Portland, Ore. The first meeting was a non-conference match.

The Bearcats will be in action on Saturday, March 3 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. Match time is set for 1 p.m. (PST).

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Willamette University 7
Lewis & Clark College 2
Shannon Palmer won #1 singles against Jill Coleman, 6-3, 6-0.

Shannon Palmer won #1 singles against Jill Coleman, 6-3, 6-0.