BEAVERTON, Ore. – Facing an uphill battle after doubles action for the seventh time this year, Linfield pulled off a season first with a huge singles rally that earned the Wildcats a 6-3 victory over George Fox Tuesday afternoon inside the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
With the win, Linfield (5-7, 5-3 NWC) snapped a three-match losing streak and completed the season sweep of the Bruins (4-8, 2-7 NWC), thereby gaining a valuable point in the team standings with just a handful of matches remaining.
George Fox had the upper hand early on after scoring pair of victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Molly Beaumont and Shaina Inn opened up with an 8-2 win over Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) and Kwynn Ecton (Fr., Fort Collins, Colo.), who partnered in Linfield’s top doubles slot for the first time this year. Alyssa Emoto and Bethany Nguyen defeated Gretchen Jernstedt (Soph., Wilsonville, Ore.) and Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.) 8-4 for the Bruins’ second point of the match.
Kaila Nip (Soph., Lahaina, Hawaii) and Kelly Watanabe (Soph., Kirkland, Wash.) kept the ‘Cats within striking distance with their 8-5 triumph over Krista Rey and Ali Diehl. Linfield rode the momentum of that sole doubles victory into singles play, running away with five of six flights to complete the rally.
Playing at No. 1 singles for the first time in 2013, Brigham won the first set against Beaumont, 6-2, before the Bruin’s top player retired with an aggravated shoulder injury. Thomas gutted out a three-set victory over Emoto 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the second flight, while Nip handed Chantelle Hadeed a straight-set loss 6-1, 6-0.
Ecton topped Inn 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4 singles and Watanabe downed Wittrig 7-5, 6-2 in the fifth flight for Linfield’s final singles victories.
Nguyen won the sole point for the Bruins at No. 6 singles, fighting extremely hard – and long – for the 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (13-11) victory over Jernstedt.
COMING UP: Linfield is Portland-bound for back-to-back matches this weekend, taking on Lewis & Clark Friday at 4 p.m. before facing Cal Lutheran in a neutral-court match Saturday at 5 p.m.
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