Boxers Defeat Bearcats, 5-4, in Highly Competitive Men's Tennis Match

Wong of Willamette Outlasts Zuroske at #1 Singles, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University won a very close men's tennis match against Willamette University on Sunday, March 10, as the Boxers achieved a 5-4 victory at the Holce Tennis Courts. The Boxers upped their record to 3-5 overall, 3-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette, playing its third match in three days, slipped to 3-6 on the season, 3-4 in the NWC.

Willamette's Joshua Wong (Sr., Hilo, HI/Hilo HS), ranked #18 in singles in NCAA Division III, defeated Troy Zuroske of Pacific at #1 singles, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. Wong upped his singles record to 7-0.

Wong and Sam Wexman (Fr., Tiburon, CA/Gamiscal HS) downed Zuroske and Giancarlo Battaglia, 8-4, at #1 doubles. Zuroske and Battaglia, who are ranked #10 in the West Region, fell to 7-1 on the season. Wong and Wexman improved to 7-1.

Pacific won two of three doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead. Wong and Wexman earned Willamette's win at #1 doubles. Alen Suklje and Kolin Wong of Pacific won #2 doubles, 8-4, against Will Cooper (Jr., Gresham, OR/Centennial HS) and Jack Schreiber (So., Solana Beach, CA/The Grauer School).

Brandon Schlack and David Yanagita of Pacific edged out Gunnar Lee (Fr., Hilo, HI/St. Joseph HS) and Devin Abney (So., Shoreline, WA/Shorecrest HS/Univ. of Redlands) from WU at #3 doubles in a tie-breaker, 9-8 (7-3). The narrow victory provided a key point for Pacific in the overall match.

The Boxers added wins at #2, #3 and #4 singles to clinch the team victory. Battaglia held off a battle from Wexman to win at the #2 position, 6-3, 6-3. Schlack won #3 singles against Cooper in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Suklje won in straight sets over Abney at #4 singles, but both sets were competitive, before Suklje prevailed, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

WU also garnered three wins in singles. In addition to Wong's victory at #1 singles, the Bearcats received wins from Schreiber at #5 and Blake Brash (Fr., Boise, ID/Boise HS) at #6. Schreiber quickly downed Brian Kyaw, 6-2, 6-1. Brash and Kolin Wong split the first two sets, before Brash won a super tie-breaker to take the match, 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3).

Willamette's three-match weekend began with a loss to Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) on Friday. The Bearcats defeated NWC rival University of Puget Sound on Saturday, before playing at Pacific on Sunday. WU will return to action on Friday, March 15, when the Bearcats host Whitworth University at the WU Tennis Courts at 3 p.m. (PDT).

Pacific University 5
Willamette University 4

In a three-set match at #1 singles, Joshua Wong of Willamette defeated Troy Zuroske of Pacific, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

In a three-set match at #1 singles, Joshua Wong of Willamette defeated Troy Zuroske of Pacific, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.