Willamette Downs Lutes, 8-1, Sweeps the Season Series with Pacific Lutheran

Bearcats Win at Home on Senior Day

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University played well throughout the lineup in the final home match of the season, as the Bearcats defeated Pacific Lutheran University, 8-4, in Northwest Conference action at the WU Tennis Courts on Saturday, April 14.

The Bearcats, who are ranked #14 in the West Region of NCAA Division III, improved to 7-8 overall, 5-6 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran dropped to 1-17 overall, 0-12 in the NWC.

Willamette swept the season series with the Lutes. The Bearcats won the first meeting, 5-4, at PLU on March 10.

In the first match-up between the two teams, the Lutes held a 2-1 lead after the doubles. In the rematch on Saturday, Willamette gained a 2-1 lead during the doubles.

Shannon Palmer (Sr., Salem, OR/Sprague HS) and Sabrina Gutierrez (So., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) of Willamette won #1 doubles over Leah Newell and Tina Aarsvold, 8-2.

At #2 doubles, the Bearcats' team of Denise Poltavski (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) and Emily Bee (Sr., Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) outlasted Cora Wigen and Valery Jorgensen, 8-5. The victory offset an 8-6 loss to Wigen and Jorgensen during the dual match last month.

Pacific Lutheran claimed its only win at #3 doubles, as Allison McClure and Katie Patton downed Emily Funabiki (So., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS), 8-5.

Palmer led the WU singles lineup with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Wigen at the #1 position. In #2 singles, Gutierrez rallied from a set down to defeat Newell in a tie-breaker played instead of a third set, 4-6, 6-4, 10-3.

Willamette won the #3 through #6 singles matches in straight sets.

At #3 singles, Poltavski held a slim 3-2 lead in the first set before rolling past Aarsvold, 6-2, 6-1. Bee won #4 singles over McClure, 6-4, 6-1, while Funabiki defeated Katie Patton at #5 singles, 6-1, 6-1. Elise Derby of WU gained the edge in two close sets against Catherine Miolla at #6 singles, 6-4, 6-4.

Prior to the match, Willamette honored the team's two seniors and their parents. Palmer and Bee, the seniors, both have played all four years at WU.

The Bearcats will close out the regular season at George Fox University on Sunday, April 15 with the continuation of a match that was suspended due to the weather on April 10, shortly after the doubles were completed. GFU owns a 2-1 advantage. Play will resume at 11 a.m. (PDT) in Newberg, Ore.

Willamette is still in the running for one of the four berths into the Northwest Conference Tournament, set for April 21-22.

Willamette University 8
Pacific Lutheran University 1
Emily Bee won #4 singles and teamed up with Denise Poltavski to earn a victory at #2 doubles.

Emily Bee won #4 singles and teamed up with Denise Poltavski to earn a victory at #2 doubles.