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Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams Sweep Through the Competition

Kyle Howe

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Over the weekend, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams secured their dominance in the Northwest Conference on campus.

With both teams playing in the conference tournament; the men soundly won their semifinal match with 5-0 win against Pacific University, followed by a 5-0 win against George Fox in the conference tournament final. Meanwhile the women won their semifinal match 6-0 against Linfield, followed by a final 5-0 win against Lewis & Clark. The victories captured the 6th straight NWC crown for the men, and the 2nd straight for the women.

Both teams played at Whitman, which was a major boost for the teams, as friends poured outside to watch.

“The Whitman community really came out in force for the final. The team always performs well in front of a big crowd, and the guys definitely stepped it up in the final,” said Men’s Tennis Assistant Coach Conor Holton-Burke.

Both teams thrived on the energy of the crowd as it further motivated them to sweep through the competition

“I thought we played really well this weekend––we were the team that brought tons of energy and fought at every position. It was so awesome to have the finals at Whitman and on our outdoor courts––having friends and family there to support us carried us through those matches and made the weekend so much fun,” said senior Alyssa Roberg.

The men’s and women’s teams performances impressed both of the respective coaches, as they were excited to see the hard work of the season paying off.

“The guys played well, especially in doubles, at the NWC tournament. Was such a treat for everyone to play in front of the large home crowds. It really boosted their energy and intensity in the doubles. Being up 3-0 after doubles really gave us a lot of momentum going into the singles,” said Men’s Tennis Coach Jeff Northam.

Both teams played hard, as they have all season and the results clearly showed in their resounding victories.

“I’m so happy with how we played this weekend.  The focus and intensity needed for the post season was there and it showed in our results.  Tennis has a long season with multiple times where you need to be peaking,” said Women’s Tennis Coach John Hein. “While we started the season strong and played well over spring break, everything leads up to qualifying for the NCAA tournament and I thought Saturday was one of our best days in doubles all year.”

Now with the NWC crown under their belts, both teams look towards nationals, with high hopes to better last year’s run into the national tournament.

“By winning the NWC tournament we are an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament the weekend of May 10. We won’t know which region we will be in until Sunday May 4th. But it means we get to practice a few more weeks,” said Northam.

Now the teams wait for the scheduling of the national tournament.

“Nationals begin in a few weeks, and we don’t actually figure out where we will go until a couple days beforehand. Last year we played in southern California and won our first round there, so we are looking to improve upon that, and are super excited for everything that is to come,” said Roberg.

With the regular season over, both teams will start practicing even harder to be prepared for nationals.

“We’ve got almost three weeks to prepare to play our best weekend of tennis this year, so that gives us time to recover from this effort and move forward, working on the things we’ve learned we need to improve on,” said Hein

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Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams Sweep Through the Competition