WALLA WALLA, Wash. – No. 19 Whitman proved its national ranking, dealing a crushing blow to the Linfield men’s tennis team 9-0 Saturday evening at the Bratton Tennis Center.
The Missionaries, who have won 71 straight Northwest Conference matches, improve to 5-0 as the Wildcats fall to 2-1.
“We were prepared, but we got outplayed today,” said Wildcats head coach Carl Swanson.
Mark Magdaong and Brent Kingzett held an early lead over Conor Holton-Burke and Andrew La Cava, but the Whitman duo rallied to force a tiebreaker and eventually win the No. 1 singles match 9-8 (8-6). Etienne Moshevich and Jeff Tolman paired to defeat Cody Levien and Zachery Lyons 8-4. In the No. 3 flight, Quinn Miller and Matt Tesmond beat Tal DeWitt and Tim Wagar 8-2.
In singles play, Magdaong found himself at the losing end of another tight contest in the No. 1 singles flight. He and Holton-Burke went to three sets, which the Whitman star ultimately won 6-3, 2-6, 10-5.
The Missionaries’ La Cava prevailed over Levien in another close match by the score of 6-4, 6-3. Moshevich handily defeated DeWitt 6-1, 6-1. At the No. 4 slot, Tolman handed Lyons the loss 6-1, 6-2. Whitman’s Sam Sadeghi earned a victory over Kingzett 6-1, 6-1.
In the final flight of the day, Wagar refused to go down easily against Will Huskey. Despite losing the match 6-1, 7-6, the his performance drew praise from his head coach.
“Tim represented the Wildcat way today, competing and battling to the end in a match where he was down and the team result had already been decided,” Swanson said. “He dug in and battled and fought back from a big deficit to force a tiebreaker.”
The 'Cats, ranked ninth in the West Region, must bounce back quickly.
“The challenge now is to learn from the experience and use it as first step towards better more focused winning tennis and improved execution of the fundamentals,” Swanson said.
NEXT: Linfield hosts George Fox Tuesday in a 3:30 p.m. match.
Drops nail-biter in doubles
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