McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Fresh air and solid play from top to bottom proved to be the right combination for the Linfield women’s tennis team against Willamette, as the ‘Cats won their sixth straight match, 7-2, on a mostly sunny Saturday afternoon at the Linfield Tennis Center.
Playing outdoors at home for the first time all year, the Wildcats (6-0, 6-0 NWC) claimed two of three doubles matches as well as five of six singles flights to hand the Bearcats (3-3, 1-3 NWC) their third loss in Northwest Conference action.
In a battle of regionally-ranked duos at No. 1 doubles, Willamette’s Shannon Palmer and Sabrina Gutierrez toppled the previously undefeated Abby Olbrich and Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) 8-6.
Kaila and Kiana Nip outlasted Emily Bee and Denise Poltavski in the middle doubles flight, winning 9-8 (1), as Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.) and Kelly Watanabe (Soph., Kirkland, Wash.) dominated Elise Derby and Hailey Arnold 8-2.
Olbrich avenged her doubles loss to Palmer in singles action, beating her Bearcat foe 6-3, 6-1. Brigham was victorious at No. 2 singles over Gueirrez by a score of 6-1, 6-0.
Kaila Nip (Soph., Lahaina, Hawaii) remains undefeated in the collegiate ranks after earning a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Bee at No. 4 singles. Kiana Nip beat Emily Funabiki 6-2, 6-1 and Wanatabe rounded out singles action with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Derby.
The Bearcats earned their second point of the afternoon at No. 3 singles as Poltavski defeated Thomas 6-4, 6-1.
COMING UP: Linfield has a whole week to rest up before traveling to Tacoma to take on Puget Sound Saturday at 1 p.m.
Wins fourth straight singles match
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McMinnville, OR 97128