Tennis opened its Northwest Conference seasons on Feb. 18 and have been competing in matches since. However, they are not off to an equal start.
The women’s team won at home against George Fox University 9-0 on Feb. 26 and on Feb. 27 against Whitman College, 7-2. With both the wins, Linfield remains undefeated in the conference.
The first match of the competition was won by Whitman 6-8, which was played by Linfield’s No. 1 doubles team, junior Abby Olbrich and senior Sarah Click.
Although the No. 1 team fell short, the women’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams recovered the wins. The Wildcat’s No. 2 team, senior Sophie Larson and freshman Caroline Brigham, won 8-5. The No. 3 team, senior Sarah Watanabe and sophomore Lexi Thomas, won 9-7.
For women’s singles, the women took the majority of the wins. The ’Cats won five of six matches against the Missionaries. The women secured the win, as well as the top spot in the Northwest Conference during the first weekend of conference play.
“I expect us to continue to work hard in practice, to be supportive of one another and to play well at our matches. Our goal as a team is to win conference, and I expect us to do that,” senior Sarah Watanabe said about the upcoming season.
The men’s team was off to a great start during its opening weekend Feb. 18 and 19, but it fell short during the last two matches. The ’Cats lost 9-0 to Whitman on Feb. 26 during a trip to Walla Walla, Wash.
The Missionaries proved their national ranking and won 71-straight wins in the Northwest Conference.
The men hosted the next match on March 1, although George Fox took the win. The Bruins came out on top with a 4-5 win over the Wildcats.
The men faced an upsetting match against the Bruins. Senior Mark Magdaong played the No. 1 singles spot and won 7-4, 6-4 and teamed with Kingzett for the No. 1 doubles spot and won 8-4. Sophomore Cody Levein won the No. 2 singles play 6-0, 6-4 and senior Tim Wagar took the No. 6 singles win 6-1, 6-3.
“We’re not pleased with our match against George Fox and are eager to come out and play at a higher level,” senior Brent Kingzett said. “We are looking forward to the opportunity and challenges the weekend present.”
The match against the Bruins left the Wildcats in the middle of conference with two wins and two losses.
“We ended up on the losing side of two close doubles matches, which were determined by tiebreakers. Though we fought back valiantly in singles, the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome.”
The men and women both battle Pacific University on March 4. The women’s match begins at 3:30 p.m. at home; the men at 4:45 p.m. at the indoor Club Green Meadows in Vancouver, Wash., because of anticipated poor weather.
Both teams will play against Willamette University on March 5. The women will compete with the Bearcats at home at 10 a.m., and the men will play on Bearcat turf in Salem, Ore., at noon.
Corrina Crocker/Sports editor
Corrina Crocker can be reached at email@example.com.