SPOKANE, Wash. – Linfield lives to play another day after defeating Whitworth in the championship match of the Northwest Conference women’s tennis tournament 5-3 Saturday at the Scotford Tennis Center.
With the victory, the Wildcats (15-4) avenged an early season loss to the regular season champion Pirates (17-3) and receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.
For the second day in a row, Sarah Click came in the clutch, earning the 6-4, 6-2 decision over Whitworth’s Megan Wingfield in the decisive match at No. 5 singles.
In other singles action, Abby Olbrich got the best of 2011 NWC Player of the Year Rachel Burns, winning the top singles flight by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Another victor for the Wildcats was Sophie Larson, who defeated Alli Marshall 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
Whitworth’s Erica Bosman tied the match at 3-3 after defeating Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.) at No. 3 singles. The match went to three sets, with Bosman winning by a score of 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
But Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) regained the lead for the ‘Cats, rallying to topple Katie Stautinger 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the fourth flight before Click clinched the win for Linfield in the fifth singles match.
The Pirates failed to extend their season despite holding a 2-1 lead after doubles action. Whitworth’s No. 2 duo of Bosman and Staudinger easily defeated Larson and Brigham 8-1 and Wingfield and Claire Hemming topped Sarah Watanabe and Kiana Nip 8-5.
But the Wildcats avoided the sweep in doubles action as Olbrich and Click narrowly edged Burns and Marshall 9-8 at No. 1 doubles.
The sixth singles flight was left unfinished with Watanabe leading Whitworth’s Siri Carlson 6-4.
NEXT: Linfield moves on to the NCAA Division III Regionals, May 13-15. Location, opponent and time are still to be determined.
2011 NWC Tournament Champions
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