SALEM, Ore. – Winning once in singles and in doubles, the Linfield Wildcats dropped a 7-2 Northwest Conference match to the Willamette Bearcats Friday afternoon on the WU Courts.
The Bearcats took a 2-1 advantage in the match following the completion of doubles play, though the Wildcats battled to the bitter end in all three flights. Linfield’s No. 2 pairing of Micah Roos (Jr., Port Angeles, Wash.) and Tim Hawkins (Soph., Boise, Idaho) pulled out an 8-5 win over WU’s Will Cooper and Devin Abney. At No. 1 doubles, Joshua Wong and Sam Wexman slipped by Linfield’s top tandem of Zachery Lyons and Lukas Kleinman (Jr., Vancouver, Wash.) 8-6. And the Bearcats’ Gunnar Lee and Colin Yamaguchi edged Joel Trousdale and Alex Mangan 8-5 at No. 3.
“We played great doubles today across the board,” said Wildcats coach Carl Swanson. “Tim and Micah put together a solid match start to finish."
Willamette scored victories in the first five singles matchups. Linfield earned its lone singles win when Kleinman prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7) over Lee in a super tiebreaker at No. 6.
The Bearcats won the remaining singles matchups in straight sets. Wong topped Lyons 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1, Wexman downed Roos 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2, and Copper handled Kadin Hashimoto 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3. Abney defeated Trousdale 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4 and Jack Schreiber bounced Hawkins 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5.
The Bearcats, ranked 19th in the West Region of NCAA Division III, moved to 7-9 for the season, 7-4 in conference play. Linfield fell to 0-12, both overall and in the NWC.
Linfield completed a winless conference season, the first recorded program history.
“I know it’s hard to see it in the scores, but I’m really proud of how well we competed all the way to the end of the conference season,” said Swanson. “I have great respect for the character of our players - this team does not have any quit in it. Lukas represented the character of this team by fighting back from a set down and recovering from an early deficit in the third set to pull out a victory for the team in our final match."
NEXT: Linfield heads to California to face Cal Tech in the season finalé on April 28.
Competes at No. 3 singles
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