Bearcats Drop Matches to UC-Santa Cruz, Whitman

Carlson notches wins at #6 singles against UCSC, #5 singles against Whitman

By Timothy Walsh, Athletics Communications Writer

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Despite an impressive performance by Mandy Carlson (Fr., Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly HS), Willamette University's women's tennis team opened regular season play with a pair of 8-1 losses to the University of California-Santa Cruz and Whitman College this weekend. Both matches were played at Whitman's Bratton Tennis Center.

With the losses, Willamette dropped to 0-2 overall, 0-1 in Northwest Conference play. Whitman improved to 3-1 overall, 2-0 in the NWC. UC-Santa Cruz, which competes as an NCAA Division III independent, finished the weekend with a record of 2-3.

On Saturday, UCSC grabbed control of the contest early, sweeping all three doubles matches. Alex Scotten and Laura Wade earned an 8-3 win over the Bearcats' top pairing of Denise Poltavski (So., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) and Sabrina Gutierrez (Jr., Newbury Park, CA/Folsom HS).

Ariana Mokhtari and Katy Collins defeated Rachel Heringer (Fr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and Stephanie Matsuura (Fr., Hilo, HI/Waiakea HS), 8-2, at #2 doubles. In the #3 spot, Carlson and Emily Guimont (Fr., El Dorado Hills, CA/Folsom HS) dropped an 8-3 decision to Courtney Lymburner and Monika Prokes.

The Banana Slugs also controlled the majority of the singles matches, as Mokhtari, Scotten, Wade, Lymburner, and Collins all registered victories at positions 1-5. But Carlson provided Willamette with a big end-of-the-day lift, earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory at #6 singles.

Sunday's NWC opener against the host Missionaries followed a similar script, with Whitman grabbing all three doubles matches despite the best efforts of Poltavski and Gutierrez at the #1 spot. Willamette's top pairing pushed Hannah Palkowitz and Maddy Webster to the brink before falling, 8-5.

The singles matches provided considerable drama as well. Heringer dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 decision at #3 singles, before Carlson notched her second win of the weekend, this time at the #5 spot. After a closely-fought first set, Carlson successfully rallied from a 5-4 second set deficit to record a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

The Bearcats will return home to Salem next Friday, Feb. 22, for their first home match of the season. The match, against Lewis & Clark College, is set to begin at 6 p.m. (PST).

Saturday, February 9

At Bratton Tennis Center, Walla Walla, Wash.
University of California-Santa Cruz 8, Willamette University 1


#1 - Ariana Mokhtari (UCSC) def. Denise Poltavski (WU), 6-1, 6-3
#2 - Alex Scotten (UCSC) def. Sabrina Gutierrez (WU), 6-3, 6-1
#3 - Laura Wade (UCSC) def. Rachel Heringer (WU), 6-0, 6-0
#4 - Courtney Lymburner (UCSC) def. Stephanie Matsuura (WU), 6-3, 6-1
#5 - Katy Collins (UCSC) def. Emily Guimont (WU), 6-0, 6-1
#6 - Mandy Carlson (WU) def. Suzanne Lipsomb (UCSC), 6-3, 6-4

#1 - Scotten and Wade (UCSC) def. Poltavski and Gutierrez (WU), 8-3
#2 - Mokhtari and Collins (UCSC) def. Heringer and Matsuura (WU), 8-2
#3 - Lymburner and Monika Prokes (UCSC) def. Guimont and Carlson (WU), 8-3

Sunday, February 10

At Bratton Tennis Center, Walla Walla, Wash.
Whitman College 8, Willamette University 1


#1 - Courtney Lawless (WC) def. Denise Poltavski (WU), 6–2, 6–1
#2 - Jenna Dobrin (WC) def. Sabrina Gutierrez (WU), 6–3, 6–1
#3 - Kate Kunkel-Patterson (WC) def. Rachel Heringer (WU), 7–6 (7–3), 6–1
#4 - Katrina Allick (WC) def. Stephanie Matsuura (WU) 6-1, 6–1
#5 - Mandy Carlson (WU) def. Erin Mineth (WC), 6–4, 6–4
#6 - Hannah Palkowitz (WC) def. Yasmine Genena (WC), 6-0, 6-2

#1 - Alyssa Roberg and Lawless (WC) def. Poltavski and Gutierrez (WU), 8-5
#2 - Morgan Lawless and Dobrin (WC) def. Heringer and Matsuura (WU), 8-2
#3 - Palkowitz and Maddy Webster (WC) def. Carlson and Lizzie Kubitz (WU), 8-0


UC-Santa Cruz 8
Willamette University 1

Whitman College 8
Willamette University 1

Freshman Mandy Carlson supplied Willamette with a pair of singles wins this weekend.