McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Light on numbers but not lacking pluck and determination, Linfield went down swinging in a 9-0 Northwest Conference loss to Whitworth Saturday afternoon at the Linfield Tennis Center.
Though Linfield competed with just five players and surrendered two team points from the start, the Wildcats were competitive in nearly all the singles and doubles matchups.
Wildcats freshman Kelsey Rosborough (So., Silverton, Ore.) was involved in the two most hotly contested matches of the day. In doubles, Rosborough and partner Lukas Kleinman (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.) nearly surprised the Whitworth pair of Drew Brigham and Shane Sandlin before falling 8-6. Rosborough also tangled with the Pirates' Chris Englemann at No. 2 singles until succumbing in a taut 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 11-9 affair.
Whitworth's Blake Miller and Matt Goebel topped the Linfield duo of Micah Roos (Sr., Port Angeles, Wash.) and Tim Hawkins (Jr., Boise, Idaho) 8-3 at No. 2. The Wildcats defaulted at No. 3 doubles, the result of injuries to an already thin roster.
In other singles action, Brigham pulled out a 6-3, 6-3 result over Roos at No. 1, John Talbot had to fend off Kleinman 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) at No. 3, and Miller clipped Hawkins 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4. Sandlin picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win over Nick Konen at No. 5.
“I was proud of the way we played today,” said Wildcats coach Carl Swanson. “Kelsey went down to the wire in his singles match and he and Lukas are performing at a high level in doubles. Lukas fought to come back in his singles match and just missed forcing a deciding tie-breaker. Micah and Tim were a better today across the board in doubles and singles.
“Nick is in a tough spot because he has to go out and compete in singles after sitting out the doubles,” said Swanson. “He's working hard to get his singles game going and it's just a matter of time before he makes a big break through.”
COMING UP: Linfield visits Puget Sound for a NWC matchup in Tacoma, Wash., Saturday at noon.