Willamette Edges Lutes, 5-4, with Four Wins in Singles

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University won the top four singles matches and the top doubles contest, as the Bearcats edged out Pacific Lutheran University, 5-4, in Northwest Conference women's tennis on Saturday, March 10 at the Sprinker Tennis Center.

The Bearcats advanced their record to 5-3 on the season, 3-3 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran fell to 0-8 overall, 0-7 in the NWC.

WU senior Shannon Palmer (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) provided solid play at the top of the lineup, as she won #1 singles without losing a game against Leah Newell, 6-0, 6-0, and combined with Sabrina Gutierrez (so., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) for a comfortable win at #1 doubles. Palmer and Gutierrez defeated Newell and Tina Aarsvold, 8-2.

Pacific Lutheran claimed wins at #2 and #3 doubles. Cora Wigen and Valery Jorgensen earned a slim triumph over Emily Bee (Sr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Denise Poltavski (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) in the #2 doubles match, 8-6. In #3 doubles, Allison McClure and Katherine Patton downed Elise Derby (Fr., Oakdale, CA/Oakdale HS) and Hailey Arnold (Fr., Winnetka, IL/Lake Forest Academy), 8-3.

Willamette surged into the lead by controlling the action from #1 singles through #4 singles. In addition to Palmer's sweep at #1, the Bearcats also received wins from Gutierrez at #2, Poltavski at #3 and Bee at #4.

Gutierrez held off Wigen in both sets for a 6-3, 6-3 triumph. Poltavski dropped just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Aarsvold, while Bee defeated McClure, 6-3, 6-1.

The Lutes achieved just two wins in singles. Patton won a competitive match with Derby at #5 singles, 6-3, 6-4. Catherine Miolla won two closely-contested sets, including one tie-breaker, to outscore Arnold at #6 singles, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

WU is slated to host Whitworth at the WU Tennis Courts on Friday, March 16. Match time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).
Willamette University 5
Pacific Lutheran University 4
Shannon Palmer won #1 singles without losing a game.

Shannon Palmer won #1 singles without losing a game.