Palmer is Chosen First Team All-Northwest Conference in Women's Tennis

Gutierrez and Poltavski Receive Second Team Honors

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior Shannon Palmer (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) has been chosen First Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2011-12 season, as selected by the NWC head coaches. Willamette players Sabrina Gutierrez (So., Newbury Park, CA/Newbury Park HS) and Denise Poltavski (Fr., Woodland Hills, CA/El Camino Real HS) were named Second Team All-NWC.

Overall, 21 athletes received All-NWC recognition in women's tennis this season. Eight players were named to the First Team, with six players on the second tam and seven on the Honorable Mention list.

Palmer was named First Team All-NWC for the second time. She also earned First Team honors as a freshman in 2008-09. This spring, Palmer played all of her singles matches at the #1 position and competed against a challenging list of opponents. She attained a #19 ranking in the West Region of NCAA Division III and finished the season with an 8-9 record.

She played all of her doubles matches in the top flight as well. Palmer, along with Gutierrez as her doubles partner, achieved a #10 West Region ranking and a 7-10 overall record.

Palmer, who played mostly at #1 and #2 singles and #1 doubles throughout her career, competed at the NCAA Division III National Championships in doubles last season, when she was paired with Natalia Agarycheva ('11, Vancouver, WA/Prairie HS).

During her Willamette career, Palmer played well at the USTA/ITA Pacific Northwest Fall Championships. She reached the finals in singles as a freshman in 2008 and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2011. She was studying abroad during the fall of 2010. In doubles, she advanced to the finals in 2009 and qualified for the semifinals in 2008 and 2011. She was paired with Gutierrez at the 2011 Pacific Northwest competition.

Gutierrez attained a 9-8 singles record this spring, including 7-5 in NWC regular season action. She played mostly #2 singles. Poltavski garnered an impressive 13-2 record in singles, playing primarily at the #3 position, where she was 13-0. Gutierrez and Poltavski each reached the Round of 16 in singles at the Pacific Northwest Fall Championships last October.

Palmer, Gutierrez and Poltavski provided strength at the top of the lineup and helped the Bearcats qualify for the four-team NWC Tournament. The Bearcats lost to regular season champion Linfield, 5-0, during the semifinals of the tournament. Willamette finished the season with a 7-10 dual match record, including 5-7 in the NWC.

In special awards voted on by the NWC head coaches in women's tennis, Alyssa Roberg from Whitman College was named NWC Athlete of the year, Kiana Nip from Linfield College was chosen NWC Sportswoman of the Year. Amy Dames Smith of Linfield was selected NWC Coach of the Year.

2011-12 All-NWC
Women's Tennis Team