TACOMA, Wash. – Linfield held the advantage after doubles action, but Puget Sound had the last laugh Friday afternoon, as the Loggers earned their first match victory over the Wildcats in at least a decade, edging the defending regular-season conference champions 5-4 at the UPS Tennis Pavilion.
Reflective of the final score, the victory did not come easily for the Loggers, who improved to 5-3 on the season, all against Northwest Conference opponents. UPS won a tiebreaker to claim its lone doubles point, and a total of four singles matches went to three sets.
Gretchen Jernstedt (Jr., Wilsonville, Ore.) and Lexi Thomas partnered for their second NWC win of the year at No. 1 doubles and Kaila Nip (Jr., Lahaina, Hawaii) and Katie Krieger (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) scored another point in the third flight, but Puget Sound remained within striking distance after a nail-biting victory at No. 2 doubles.
Jernstedt and Thomas downed Maddie Thiesse and Josephine Dow 8-5, while Nip and Krieger, the latter filling in for Kelly Watanabe (Jr., Kirkland, Wash.), who had academic commitments, handled Allison Embernate and Allison Goo by an identical score. Logan Thompson and Marissa Friedman kept upset hopes alive for the Loggers when they won a tiebreak point to defeat Kwynn Ecton and Caroline Brigham (Sr., Eagle, Idaho) by a count of 9-8 (7-1).
Puget Sound then took four matches in singles action, including two in three sets, to secure a valuable point in the Northwest Conference team standings, as this was the only match between the two clubs this season.
Friedman topped Ecton in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, in the fourth flight, while Embernate helped the Logger cause with her 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 6 singles. Those outcomes pushed Puget Sound ahead 3-2, and Thiesse got the home team closer to victory as she avenged her doubles loss to Thomas with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory over her Wildcat foe in the top singles flight.
Brigham prevented the Loggers from clinching at No. 2 singles, rallying from an opening-set loss to hand Jenna Gersen a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 defeat.
It all came down to the third flight, where Thompson gutted out a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Nip to seal the deal for the Loggers.
Jernstedt closed out one-on-one competition with her 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 decision over Dow at No. 6 singles.
NEXT: Linfield (4-7, 4-3 NWC) looks to get back to winning ways with a mid-week match against George Fox next Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Runs NWC singles record to 6-1
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