RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Playing some of their best tennis of the season, the Linfield Wildcats could take a measure of satisfaction from their 8-1 loss to Northwest Conference foe George Fox at the La Palmas Tennis Resort.
Linfield's No. 2 doubles tandem of Tim Hawkins (Jr., Boise, Idaho) and Micah Roos (Sr., Port Angeles, Wash.) scored its first winning outcome of the spring, defeating GFU's Preston Mann and Matt Deming by an 8-5 margin.
“Tim and Micah played their best match of the season and got a well deserved win,” said Wildcats coach Carl Swanson. “I really liked the way that they fought for every point and kept communicating with each other and supporting each other the entire match."
Linfield nearly pulled off a second doubles victory at No. 1, where partners Lukas Kleinman (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.) and Kelsey Rosborough (So., Silverton, Ore.) dropped a tight 9-8 (7-3) decision to the Bruins' Chris Lilley and Mitchell Miyashiro.
“Kelsey and Lukas played a great doubles match today and unfortunately lost another close match,” said Swanson. “They played good team doubles and were the first team to the net consistently and it was a match that could have gone either way, the difference was literally a single point in the 16th game of the match.”
In singles play, Lilley toppled Roos, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1, McClain downed Rosborough 6-2, 6-2, at No. 2, and Mann prevailed over Kleinman 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3.
In the lower flights, Nick Grafton of George Fox scored a 6-0, 6-1 win over Hawkins at No. 4, Deming bounced Nick Konen 6-3, 6-0 at No. 5, and Andy Tweet beat Alec Wisthoff (So., Sherwood, Ore.) 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6.
Though it was the team's fifth loss in as many outings, Swanson left the courts pleased with his squad's performance.
“The fact that we went out and fought and were one point from taking the lead over one of the top teams in our conference was a considerable accomplishment for this group of players. Their hard work and continued belief in themselves and the pursuit of the team goal of executing fundamentals will lead to good results.
“Our singles play is improving, I really like the progress that Nick and Alec made in this match in terms of initiating play and working points and they just looked more comfortable on the court and should continue to build off that foundation.
NEXT: Linfield battles Hardin-Simmons Monday in the third of three matches in the desert air of California.