SPOKANE, Wash. – The Linfield women’s tennis club kept its postseason hopes alive with a 5-2 win over Whitman in a Northwest Conference semifinal Saturday afternoon at the Scotford Tennis Center.
The ‘Cats, the tournament's second seed, leaped out to an early 2-0 lead over the No. 3 Missionaries in doubles play.
The No. 2 tandem of Sophie Larson and Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) crushed Ka Kunkel-Patterson and Emily Rolston 8-2, and Sarah Watanabe and Kiana Nip won the third flight over Lizzy Schiller and Hannah Palkowitz by a score of 8-2.
Whitman earned the victory in the top doubles flight as Elise Otto and Alyssa Roberg defeated Abby Olbrich and Sarah Click 8-4.
Needing just three wins in singles action to secure the victory, Linfield did just that, sweeping the first, third and fifth flights.
Olbrich edged Roberg at No. 1 singles by a score of 7-6 (8-6), 6-4. Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.) rallied from an early deficit to top Kunkel-Patterson 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. Click won the decisive fifth flight in impressive fashion, blanking Schiller 6-0, 6-0.
The Missionaries picked up their only other point courtesy of Otto’s 6-4, 6-1 decision over Larson at No. 2 singles.
The fourth and sixth flights were left unfinished, but before the match ended, Brigham led Rolston 6-2, 1-0 and Watanabe trailed Palkowitz 2-6, 1-0.
With the win, the 'Cats improve to 14-4 overall and 12-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Missionaries end their season with an 11-9 record, including 9-4 in the league.
NEXT: An automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament is on the line as Linfield takes on Whitworth Sunday morning at 10 a.m. In the one and only match between the teams this season, the Pirates edged the Wildcats 5-4.
Wins No. 2 doubles flight
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