McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Winning two key singles matches in the third set, Linfield scratched out a harder-than-it-looked 6-3 Northwest Conference victory Saturday over winless Puget Sound Saturday inside the Rutschman Fieldhouse.
In all, three singles matches went to a third set with the Wildcats (2-4, 2-3 NWC) prevailing in two of those. That left the Loggers (0-7, 0-7 NWC) still searching for their first win of the season.
At No. 3 singles, Linfield frosh Micah Roos (Sr., Port Angeles, Wash.) took the first set 6-0 over the Loggers’ George Murphy and appeared on his way to a decisive victory. But Murphy stormed back, winning the next two frames by identical 6-2 margins to capture the team point.
No. 1 and 2 singles also saw swings of momentum. At No. 1, Linfield’s Cody Levien had to rally to fend off Ben Muller 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. And the Wildcats’ Zach Lyons outlasted Michael Cutter 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 2.
The lower three flight were each decided in straight sets. Linfield freshman Luke Kleinman knocked off Abe Noyes 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4, and Wildcats teammate
(Jr., Hillsboro, Ore.) surprised Jake Peterson 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6. UPS’s John Stevens swept past Linfield’s
(Jr., Lake Oswego, Ore.), 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4.
"Cody and Zach led the way today," said Wildcats coach Carl Swanson. "Lukas gave us a great effort in singles and doubles in the middle of the lineup."
Linfield won two of the three doubles matchups. Levien and Lyons beat Cutter and Miller 8-3 at No. 1 while Roos and Kleinman were 8-4 winners over the Loggers’ Murphy and Peterson at No. 2. Noyes and Stevens paired for a 9-8 win over Brewer and Trousdale at No. 3.
COMING UP: The Wildcats continue their three-match homestand Sunday when they host defending NWC champion Whitman at 11 a.m. Thursday, Linfield welcomes Pacific to McMinnville for a 4 o’clock contest.