Linfield Wildcats

April 27, 2014
Mission complete for NWC champ Whitman
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – A popular sports mantra states it is hard to beat a team three times in a season, but Whitman completed the feat, defeating Linfield 5-0 in the championship match of the Northwest Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon on its home courts.
The Missionaries (16-9) completed a perfect record against league opponents, including three victories against the Wildcats (13-4), to earn the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA playoffs. Whitman quickly reached the five points necessary to win the match, but Linfield gave the defending regular season and tournament champion all it could handle.
“We were impressed by our players' willingness to compete and fight for every point today. We went down fighting,” said head coach Lisa Macy-Baker. “We talk a lot about putting everything on the line and improving every match. That's what gave us the shot at the championship.”
Kaila Nip and Kelly Watanabe kept things close against Erin Bell and Katrina Allick at No. 2 doubles, 2-1, before the Missionary tandem rattled off six straight wins to earn Whitman its first point of the day, 8-1.
Courtney Lawless – the NWC Player of the Year – and Maddy Webster topped Caroline Brigham and Mackenzie Fraaser 8-4 in top-flight doubles to ensure the Missionaries had the advantage headed into singles, but Linfield's No. 3 duo ensured the clean sweep would not be easy. Gretchen Jernstedt and Courtney Mostul (Sr., Sherwood, Ore.) went up 3-1 in the tiebreak set against Jenna Dobrin and Hannah Palkowitz, but Whitman rallied for the 9-8 (7-4) victory.
Playing against an adjusted Linfield lineup due to an injured Watanabe, Allick handed Mostul just her second loss of the year at No. 6 singles by a count of 6-3, 6-0 and Allie Wallin defeated Jernstedt in fourth-flight singles, 6-2, 6-0 to give the Missionaries the necessary five points to secure the team victory.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Whitman earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA playoffs for the third straight season…the Missionaries have defeated the Wildcats in six consecutive matches…Linfield's record in championship matches stands at 8-6.
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Gretchen Jernstedt
Wages tough fight at No. 3 doubles