McMINNVILLE, Ore. – In a matchup of two regionally-ranked teams, Linfield topped Pacific Lutheran 7-2 to open Northwest Conference play Friday afternoon at the Rutschman Field House.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 9 in the West, begin the season 1-0 as the Lutes, who are ranked No. 15 in the region, start their season 0-1.
Pacific Lutheran started the day out strong, winning the No. 1 doubles match. Taylor Dickey and Scott Sheldon defeated Linfield’s Mark Magdaong and Brent Kingzett 8-1.
The rest of the day belonged mainly to the 'Cats.
No. 2 Cody Levien and Zachery Lyons paired to blank Zach Ah Yat and Neal Berg 8-0. A second doubles victory came from Tal DeWitt and Tim Wagar, who defeated Reed Gunstone and Dan Cotton 8-5.
In singles play, Linfield won five of six flights to clinch the victory.
No. 1 Magdaong avenged his doubles loss by beating Dickey 6-1, 7-6 (6-2). DeWitt defeated Shelton by the scores of 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6-4). Levien also went to three sets in the No. 3 match, eventually prevailing over Ah Yat 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (6-5). Kingzett picked up another win for the ‘Cats by beating Cotton in straight sets 6-3, 6-1. Lyons also won in straight sets over Berg, 6-1, 6-2.
The Lutes picked up their sole singles win from Gunstone, who defeated Tim Wagar 5-7, 6-4, 10-7.
Head coach Carl Swanson praised for his team for its performance in the first competition of the year.
"Today was a good team effort," Swanson said. "DeWitt and Levien won tough tight matches coming up big in third set tiebreakers. Cody (Levien) and Zach (Lyons) were very efficient in doubles today and Zach had a great day overall, winning in singles and doubles quite convincingly.
"We can be proud of the effort," he continued, "but we have a lot of work to do to get up to the level we are striving to achieve."
NEXT: The ‘Cats hit the road Saturday for a conference match at Lewis & Clark. Match time is set for 2 p.m.
Come-from-behind win at No. 2 singles
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