By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University won two of three doubles matches, but Whitworth University rallied by claiming victories in four of six singles matches to defeat the Bearcats, 5-4, in Northwest Conference men's tennis action on Sunday, April 7 at the Salem Tennis and Swim Club. Whitworth improved to 4-11 overall, 1-4 in the NWC. Willamette moved to 1-11 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.
"We were really happy with our play against Whitman (on Saturday) and wanted to keep it going against Whitworth," Willamette Head Coach Rick Wood said. "We came very close to a team win today, so it was a bittersweet day. The guys are working hard to get better, and its showed this weekend. I'm proud of the team."
The Bearcats won quality matches at #1 and #2 doubles, and added triumphs in competitive parings at #1 and #2 singles.
In the top doubles match, Andrew Kabacy (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS) and Aaron Schechter (Sr., Seattle, WA/James A. Garfield HS) of Willamette downed Sean Singco and Kincaid Norris of Whitworth, 8-5. At #2 doubles, Colin Fisher (Jr., Caldwell, ID/Thomas Jefferson Charter School) and Gene Perle-Jones (Jr., TE, Eugene, OR/North Eugene HS) won for the Bearcats as they outlasted Ben Behards and Cameron Brewer, 8-5.
Whitworth trailed 2-1, but the Pirates tacked on wins at #3, #5 and #4 singles to grab a 4-2 lead. Norris completed the string of wins when he downed Perle-Jones in three sets at #4 singles, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.
The Bearcats tied the match after Kabacy took #1 singles in three sets and Schechter grabbed #2 singles in three sets. Kabacy defeated Jake Behards, 6-1, 4-6, 6-0. Schechter lost the first set to Singco, but won the second set in a tie-breaker and then succeeded in the third set for a 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win. In the third set, Schechter held slim leads at each crossover, including 5-4, before closing out the set by holding serve.
Schechter's win tied the overall match at 4-4, with the #6 singles match still underway. At #6, Jacob Floyd of Whitworth downed Endy Zarate (Sr., Salem, OR/McKay HS) of Willamette, 6-1, 6-0.
Willamette is set to play at George Fox University on Saturday, April 13 in Newberg, Oregon. Match time is slated for 10 a.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Match for Willamette
Aaron Schechter fell behind at #2 singles when Sean Singco of Whitworth
won the first set, 7-5. Schechter mounted a successful comeback, as he
took the second set in a tie-breaker, 7-6 (7-3), and never trailed during the
third set in a 6-4 victory. Earlier, Schechter and Andrew Kabacy put their
efforts together to win #1 doubles, 8-5, over Singco and Kincaid Norris.