Senior Cody Levien and junior Zach Lyons continued their solid winning streak March 2 and 3.
The duo had their first loss to Whitman College, putting them at 6-1 in doubles.
“Zach and Cody played together last year at the No. 2 doubles position,” Coach Carl Swanson said. “They had a solid winning percentage, and they are building off of that foundation of success this year.”
Part of their success comes from consistent teamwork.
The two are friends off the court. Levien said they’ve known each other for about three years, since Lyons started at Linfield.
This friendship is a foundation of good teamwork, Lyons said.
“I think a good relationship off the court translates to a good relationship on the court. [It] helps us communicate better,” he said.
Levien and Lyons have different playing styles which complement each other well.
“Cody is an explosive player and very high energy. Zach is more thoughtful and crafty,” Swanson said.
Levien attributed their success in doubles to good coaching.
“Carl is a great doubles coach; he really focuses on fundamentals. I think our fundamentals are a big part of our success.” Levien said.
By sticking to fundamentals, the duo has managed to win several tough matches by being “like a wall,” Lyons said.
By repeatedly executing the fundamentals of good doubles play, the pair overwhelms their opponents.
On March 10, the pair stole an 8-3 win from Puget Sound’s Michael Cutter and Ben Muller.
“A lot of other teams are really aggressive, but we’ve been sticking to the fundamentals, and it’s really helped,” Levien said after the match.
On March 11, the Wildcats faced Whitman, the NWC defending champions.
Levien and Lyons lost their first match this season, with a close 6-8, but they weren’t discouraged.
“It was a good match,” Levien said. “They were pretty tricky.”
The two have been leaders for the rest of the team.
“I’m proud of both of them for setting a good example as leaders and mentors, showing our younger players the pathway to success,” Swanson said.
At the March 10 match, the Wildcats beat Puget Sound 6-3 with four solid wins in singles and two in doubles.
Freshmen Micah Roos and Lukas Kleinman worked together for an 8-4 victory at No. 2 doubles.
Both Levien and Lyons fought hard for victories in the third set at No. 1 and 2 singles.
Levien faced Muller at No. 1 for a close 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win, while Lyons outlasted Cutter 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 2.
Freshmen Joel Trousdale and Kleinman also won their singles matches 6-2, 6-4 and 6-2, 6-0, respectively.
The Wildcats will host Pacific at 4 p.m. on March 15.
Caleb Goad/Staff writer
Caleb Goad can be reached at email@example.com.