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It was a promising weekend for the Linfield Wildcat women’s tennis team as they faced the California Institute of Technology Beavers in Indian Wells, Calif. Excitingly, the Lady ’Cats were able to pull out a team victory over the Beavers defeating them 6-3.
In the singles competition, it was freshmen Marisa Kume and Mackenzie Fraser and junior Gretchen Jernstedt coming out on top tying up the team scores 3-3. Kume defeated Cal Tech’s Valerie Pietrasz in an exciting three set match with score 6-0, 2-6, and 10-2 while teammate Jernstedt defeated Beavers’ Michelle Tang 6-3, 6-2. Fraser defeated Chen in a two set sweep with scores 6-2, 6-3.
“Going into the matches, I was thinking how lucky we were to have this opportunity to play teams out of our league and get the chance to learn from these matches. It’s so much fun to be able to travel with these awesome people, but it’s also fun to grow as tennis players through these non-league matches,” Fraser said.
There was no doubt that the ’Cats women’s tennis team was having a lot of fun as the Linfield Wildcats swept the doubles matches with the senior Caroline Brigham and Fraser defeating the Beavers with a tight score of 8-6, the juniors Kaila Nip and Kelly Watanabe team defeating Cal Tech’s team of yet another exciting score of 8-6, and the Jernstedt and freshman Courtney Mostul team defeating the Beavers’ team with an exhilarating, nail biting score of 9-7. By the looks of these scores, there is no doubt that the ’Cats tennis team is off to a promising start for their 2014 season.
“Our team is doing fantastic this season. We are starting out strong not only with a few wins, but also with very positive attitudes and a strong bond,” Fraser said.
However, the ’Cats have not done it alone. These young ladies have been guided by new head coach Lisa Macy-Baker. Baker, a Linfield alumni and Hall of Fame athlete, has large shoes to fill as Dames Smith–prior head coach–has coached the ’Cats to six Northwest Conference Titles and three appearances in the NCAA Division III Regional playoffs. Nevertheless, these shoes fit Baker perfectly. Fraser was ecstatic when talking about Baker.
“She’s like my second mom. She’s there for you on the court and off, which I think is really unique and special to have in a coach. We’re so lucky to have her this year,” Fraser said.
By the outcome of the ’Cats Palm Springs tennis tournament, there is no question that their team is off to a good start.
“As a team, I think we are pretty rock solid. I think time will tell what we need to improve on, but so far we are doing great,” Fraser said. “This California tournament has really helped to bring our team closer and has helped us to get even more practice that will definitely help us to be match ready in the Conference season to come.”
With conference matches starting right around the corner, there is no doubt that Linfield will be hearing more from Fraser and the Linfield women’s tennis team in the weeks to come. Their conference opener is a home match on March 14 against George Fox University at 4 p.m.
Casie Gaza/ Senior Sports reporter
In the first of three matches in California the Linfield Wildcats lost 9-0 to California Institute for Technology. Cal Tech swept all three doubles matches and the six single pairings in Rancho Las Palmas, Calif.
At No. 1 doubles March 7, Kelsey Rosborough, freshmen, and Lukas Kleinman, junior, had a close match and were even point for point before loosing 8-6 to Cal Tech.
The closest singles match was Kelsey Rosborough, freshmen, with a 6-1, 6-2 loss.
Not only did the Wildcats enjoy the sun on their day off according to sophomore Tim Hawkins but Saturday the Wildcats watched the BNP Parabas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
“We got to watch Rafael Nadal, number one in the world, last night along with many other top pros,” Hawkins said.
On March 9 the team played George Fox, University loosing 8-1, in a Northwest Conference matchup in Calif.
No. 1 doubles, Rosborough and Kleinman, lost a very close match to George Fox that ended in a tiebreaker.
No. 2 doubles, junior Micah Roos and Hawkins, won their first match with a final score of 8-5.
Linfield’s next match will be March 10 against Hardin-Simmons University in Indio, Calif.
Rachael Gernhart/Staff Writer
It was a wet and windy match for the Wildcats lacrosse team who fell to George Fox on March 5.
The ’Cats lost 15-4 against the Bruins scoring one goal in the first half to Fox’s seven and only three in the second half to Fox’s eight.
In the first half of the game, it was no surprise that senior Sierra Edgerly would be scoring for the Wildcats at 10:22 off of an assist from junior Chas Tittle. However, despite the Wildcats’ efforts, they were only able to take four shots in comparison to George Fox’s 18.
“Our communication started to break down. Since communication is the biggest part in any sport, this hindered our ability to work together,” freshman reserve Maren Geesey said.
Nonetheless, it was clear that Linfield had owned the field defensively with eleven saves in comparison to the Bruins’ four.
After watching the Lady ’Cats play, it was evident that their tenacity, persistence, and “Never give up” attitude is what allowed them to push through, even to the dying end.
In the second half, Linfield scored three goals–two of which came from junior Shelby Duarte and a single goal from sophomore Kelsey Dammerell.
Duarte scored back to back goals at time 18:58 and 17:45 while Dammerell scored the final goal of the match with 2:49 left on the clock.
But, it wasn’t over yet. The ‘Cats unfortunately dropped another match on March 9 in a battle against Kenyon College 18-4.
In the first half of the match, Linfield competed fiercely with junior midfielder Halee Helgerson scoring the second goal at time 23:04.
Linfield’s second and third goals both came from Duarte at the end of the first half at times 2:47 and 0:41.
Their final score of the match came in the middle of second half also from Duarte at time 14:35 with final score 18-4.
“Our small team is what makes us stronger. We are able to really get to know our teammates which helps with our chemistry on the field,” Geesey said.
While there’s no doubt that the Wildcats aren’t perfect, it is clear that their ability to work through obstacles appears to be seamless and natural.
Their teamwork, love of the game, and dedication to each other is one of their strengths and allows them to continue being optimistic about the season matches ahead.
“Our team’s strength is our ability to focus in practice and work hard during the whole game,” Geesey said. “We practice five days a week and are constantly in the racquetball room on our free time to improve our skills.”
Despite the hard losses to the George Fox Bruins and Kenyon College this week, there is no doubt that the Linfield women’s lacrosse team has a bright future.
According to Geesey, if the Wildcats can “trust their teammates and apply practice drills to the games,” there is no telling of their limits.
The Lacrosse team will next be going up against Southwestern University on March 15 at 1 p.m. and then Pacific University on March 18 at 5 p.m.
Casie Gaza/ Senior Sports reporter
Sophomore goalie Erika Phillipo protects the ’Cats’ net during their game against Kenyon College, which the team ended up losing 18-4.
Helen Lee/Photo editor
The Wildcat women’s tennis team won their first home match of the season on March 1 against the University of Puget Sound Loggers, 8-1.
This was their third conference match of the season, and was a much-needed moral boost after both of last weekend’s away match losses to Whitman College and Whitworth University.
Linfield Wildcats started out the match with a solid lead against the Puget Sound Loggers. Senior Caroline Brigham, junior Kaila Nip, and freshman Marisa Kume won all of their matches in the singles competition. Junior Kelly Watanabe and freshman Mackenzie Fraser also won matches in the singles competition.
Going into the doubles competition with an already strong lead from singles, Linfield continued to hold control over Puget Sound in all three doubles matches.
Wildcat coach Lisa Macy-Baker, who was very much looking forward to the team’s match against Puget Sound, feels particularly proud of the team’s winning performance.
“It feels good to be home,” Macy-Baker said. “UPS is a very competitive team top to bottom this year.”
Macy-Baker is correct, though Puget Sound is ranked 15 regionally and Linfield is ranked above them at 11, the Loggers had two good results this season prior to playing at Linfield on Saturday. The Wildcats embraced the challenge of taking on the Puget Sound Loggers and ultimately rose to their full potential as victors.
The women’s tennis team’s next match will be against California Institute of Technology at 4 p.m. on March 7 in Indian Wells, Calif.
Mikenna Whatley/Staff writer
Senior Katherine Allison prepares to serve during her singles match on March 1. The Women’s Tennis started back on their winning track by winning this match against Puget Sound University.
Spencer Beck/Staff photographer
Junior Kelly Watanabe and Junior Kailia Nip are preparing to receive a ball from the other team, which the doubles team won 8-4.
Spencer Beck/Staff photographer
The softball team kept it’s perfect record intact beating George Fox University in back-to-back games away on March 1, (10-02), (03-02).
The Wildcats beat the Bruins in the first game with a score of ten runs to two in a six-inning span.
The ‘Cats scored at least one run during the whole game, but George Fox kept up with them all the way through the second inning.
Senior Haylie Watson and junior McKenna Spieth both hit solo home runs in the second and their innings, pushing the Wildcats ahead. From that point on Linfield never looked back.
Watson didn’t stop at just one home run however, with another in the sixth inning, which marked the second to last run made that game.
The ’Cats continued to dominate the Bruins in their second, closer game that ending in the ninth inning with a final score of three runs to two. The two teams went back and forth with strike outs with a couple of hits thrown in there.
Junior Grace Middelstadt delivered the game-winning blow to the left-center field in the final inning that tied up the longer of the two games.
The Wildcats had a game canceled on March 2 due to weather conditions, so it will be moved to a new date later this week. The ’Cats next set game is March 8 against Puget Sound University and March 9 against Pacific Lutheran University both starting at noon.
Stephanie Hofmann/Sports editor