By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's tennis team battled against nationally ranked Lewis & Clark College on Sunday, April 14 in a Northwest Conference match, but the Pioneers defeated the Bearcats 7-2 at the Salem Tennis and Swim Club. Lewis & Clark, ranked #37 in NCAA Division III by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), improved to 8-5 overall, 5-2 in the NWC. Willamette ended the day at 1-12 overall, 1-5 in the NWC.
Willamette picked up wins at #1 and #4 singles. In the top singles match, Andrew Kabacy (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS) edged out Raed Attia from L&C in a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set. Kabacy outlasted Raed in the first set, 6-4. Raed bounced back with a 6-1 win the second set. Kabacy took the super tie-breaker by a score of 10-5. At #4 singles, Gene Perle-Jones of WU also won in a super tie-beaker with similar scores. After Perle-Jones grabbed the first set, 6-4, Will McDermott won the second set for the Pioneers, 6-1. Perle-Jones won the super tie-breaker, 10-7.
"I am very proud and happy with today," Willamette Head Coach Rick Wood noted. "We had huge wins at #1 and #4 and we were close in a couple of other matches. We competed. We lost to L&C 9-0 earlier in the seaosn (Feb. 24 in Portland), so this is awesome for our future."
The Pioneers seized a 3-0 lead in doubles. At #1 doubles, Rade Attia and Ramez Attia downed Kabacy and Aaron Schechter (Sr., Seattle, WA/James A. Garfield HS), 8-4. In the #2 doubles match, Brendan Adams and McDermott held off Colin Fisher (Jr., Caldwell, ID/Thomas Jefferson Charter School) and Perle-Jones, 8-6. At #3 doubles, the win went to L&C's Ryan Hayes and Riley Vickers, 8-1, over Luke Hiserman (So., Monterey, CA/Pacific Grove HS) and Charles Pezeshki (Fr., Pullman, WA/Pullman HS).
Lewis & Clark won four singles matches in straight sets, but two of the Pioneers avoided a third set. In #2 singles, Ramez Attia easily won the first set, 6-0, but Schechter made the second set much for difficult before Attia won, 6-4. At #3 singles, Adams had a nearly identical experience for L&C, as he won the first set, 6-1, only to have Fisher provide strong competition in the second set. Adams eventually won, 6-4.
Also earning singles wins for the Pioneers were Vickers at #5 and Hayes at #6.
Willamette will be back in action on Saturday, April 20, when the Bearcats will travel to McMinnville, Oregon, to take on Linfield College. Match time is set for 11 a.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Match for Willamette
Andrew Kabacy defeated Lewis & Clark's top singles player,
Raed Attia in a super tie-breaker played instead of a first set.
Kabacy won, 6-4, 1-6, 10-5. It was an impressive win since
the Lewis & Clark team is ranked #37 in NCAA Division III.