Men edge, Women fall to Linfield

Andy Jobanek

For the men’s team, Linfield represented a challenge. For the women, Linfield was a chance to prove their clout within conference. By the end of Friday, each team proved something.

The Whitman men proved they are still the conference favorite with their 40th straight conference win. However, the final score of 5-4 was one of the closest during that run. Both teams split the six singles matches, 3-3, while Whitman took two of the three doubles matches.

Despite the close finish, Whitman clinched the match with their fifth team point early. Up 4-2 after completing doubles competition and the first three seeds of singles, Dan Wilson grinded out the winning point in a grueling 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 match. Linfield then took No. 5 and 6 singles to tighten up the final score.

On the women’s side, Whitman proved they could play with Linfield. The Wildcats entered as the defending conference champion and winners of 106 straight conference matches; a stretch that spans seven years. Not intimitated, the Whitman women gave Linfield everything they could handle before falling 5-4.

Like the men’s match, Linfield took two of three doubles matches and then split the six singles matches. Current Whitman Athlete of the Week Elise Otto led off singles play with a straight sets win, 6-3, 7-5 against Sallie Katter who was previously undefeated in conference. However, again like the men’s match, Linfield clinched the victory in No. 4 singles before Whitman took the final two.

With the win, the men improve to 6-0 and are alone atop the Northwest conference, while the women fall to 6-2 and remain in third.

The women will have another chance to end Linfield’s conference dominance when the Wildcats travel to Walla Walla Friday, April 3. In contrast, the Whitman men will trip to McMinnville to play Linfield over spring break on Thursday, March 19.

The press release from Whitman Sports Information Director Dave Holden on the men can be found here and the women’s press release can be found here.

-Andy Jobanek, Sports Editor