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The Linfield men’s tennis team lost 9-0 and 8-1 on April 5 and 6, and it remains winless on the season (0-11 NWC record).
The team faced Lewis & Clark College (6-11, 5-7 NWC) on Friday and lost every single match. The Pioneers won the three doubles matches by the same score of 8-4. The closest singles match was a matchup of Linfield No. 4 sophomore Joel Trousdale and Lewis & Clark No. 4 Ryotaro Tokura. Tokura won the match 6-4, 6-3.
“My serve was spot on for both of the matches and that definitely helped…given the same matches again the results could be reversed,” Trousdale said.
Linfield No. 1 senior Zach Lyons lost his singles match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
Pacific Lutheran University (10-5, 8-1) entered the weekend ranked No. 14 in the latest Division III West Region rankings. Lyons and sophomore Lukas Kleinman won their doubles match by a score of 8-5 to give the ‘Cats their lone weekend victory. With the win, Lyons and Kleinman improved to 4-2 on the year as a doubles duo after making the switch in the middle of the year.
The other two doubles matches ended with the familiar score of 8-4 in favor of Pacific Lutheran. The Jason Bower/Taylor Dickey duo defeated sophomore Micah Roos and freshman Tim Hawkins, while the Mitch Yanello/Jake Yannello duo defeated Trousdale and freshman Alex Mangan.
Despite Pacific Lutheran being the better team, the ‘Cats put up more of a fight in their singles matches compared to the day before against Lewis & Clark. Lyons and Kleinman pushed their matches against Pacific Lutheran’s Luke Olson and Sam Angel to three sets respectively.
Lyons won his first set 6-2 but dropped the last two sets by scores of 6-4 and 6-3. Kleinman won his first set as well, with a score of 6-3, but fell in the final two sets 6-2, 6-1.
When asked about the team’s attitude, Trousdale said, “Team morale isn’t at it’s greatest. It’s definitely hard to keep morale up after losing so much.”
He added, “I’ve definitely seen improvement so I try to focus on the positive. Grumbling about the past doesn’t help anybody.”
The ‘Cats are running out of time to score a team victory this season. They have just one remaining conference game on the schedule, and it’s against Willamette University (6-9, 6-4 NWC) at 4 p.m. April 12 in Salem. Linfield also has a match versus California Tech University on April 28.
Willamette defeated Linfield on March 2, 6-3, which is one of the closest contests the Linfield team has had this season (it also lost 6-3 to Puget Sound and George Fox). Lyons and Kleinman won their singles matches and their doubles match during the Willamette contest.
Tyler Bradley / Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.