Sports & Outdoors

Tennis teams wrap up, look to brighter future

The men’s and women’s tennis seasons came to a close this past weekend for Puget Sound. The men finished up a long rebuilding season under new coaching on the road, dropping a pair of matches to Whitworth and Whitman. The pair of defeats marked the ninth and tenth straight losses for the men’s team. The women also fell twice over the weekend, ending a three match winning streak.

On Friday, the men fell 9-0 to the Pirates. The victory meant that Whitworth clinched a spot in the Northwest Conference tournament.

The Pirates started off hot, taking a 3-0 lead over the Loggers after doubles action. The most exciting doubles match came in the number one doubles match as Whitworth’s Daniel Redfern and Colin Barret managed to eke out a hard fought 8-6 victory over junior George Murphy (Eugene, Ore.) and freshman Brent Hashiba (Honolulu, Hawaii) to close out the doubles sweep. The Pirates then went on to sweep singles play in fairly easy fashion as well.

The women also struggled to compete with the powerful Pirates as they surrendered a 9-0 sweep as well. The Pirates easily wrapped up the number one doubles match, defeating junior Madison Holtz (Honolulu, Hawaii) and sophomore Maddie Thiesse (Chanhassen, Minn.) 8-0, paving the way for the rest of the team’s success. Junior Ada Yu (Salem, Ore.) put on a great performance in her singles match, but fell short late in her attempt to spoil the Whitworth sweep.

The next match carried more of the same for the men’s team as they were swept by the Missionaries 9-0. The victory for Whitman earned them a share of the Northwest Conference title. Whitman put together three consecutive 8-4 wins in doubles play to take the early 3-0 lead in the match.

Singles play also went smoothly for the Missionaries as they picked up six consecutive straight-set sweeps to finish off the 9-0 victory. The number six singles match provided the most action of the day as sophomore Ben Miller (Silverdale, Wash.) put up a solid fight before falling to senior Chris Bailey.

The women gave the Missionaries a much better fight in the second match of the weekend. The Loggers put together a solid performance but fell to Whitman by a score of 5-4. Winners included Thiesse, freshman Logan Thompson (Decorah, Iowa), and freshman Marissa Friedman (Novato, Calif.). Yu and junior Devin Fields (San Francisco, Calif.) picked up a doubles victory for the Loggers as well.

Both the men and women’s teams should have promising prospects for next season. The men will have a solid core of returning players next season and will graduate only two seniors, Alex Harrison (Southborough, Mass.) and Andrew Timmons (Shoreview, Minn.). Despite their 3-13 (2-10 NWC) record in 2011, the young team has had plenty of opportunities to mature throughout the year and the experience will surely benefit the team next year.

The women will return their entire roster as they have no graduating seniors. After a solid 8-10 (5-7) record in 2011, the women should only improve in 2012.

[Photo Courtesy / Holly Hartman]