Wildcats battle Lutes but fall 8-1
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Zachery Lyons (Sr., Vancouver, Wash.) and Lukas Kleinman (Soph., Vancouver, Wash.) teamed up for an 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles, registering the lone point for Linfield in an 8-1 Northwest Conference loss to Pacific Lutheran Saturday inside the Rutschman Field House.
Lyons and Kleinman outlasted PLU’s Luke Olson and Sam Angel to capture the top doubles flight.
The Lutes, ranked 14th in the most recent West Region rankings, prevailed in the other two doubles pairings, both by close scores. Jason Bower and Taylor Dickey of PLU edged Linfield’s Micah Roos (Soph., Port Angeles, Wash.) and Tim Hawkins (Fr., Boise, Idaho) 8-4 at No. 2 while cousins Mitch Yannello and Jake Yannello took down the Wildcats’ Joel Trousdale (Soph., Hillsboro, Ore.) and Alex Mangan (Fr., Klamath Falls, Ore.) by the same score.
Lyons and Kleinman each forced third sets once the action turned to singles play. Lyons dropped a narrow 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Olson at No. 2 singles. Kleinman got an early lead on Angel only to lose his grip and fall 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3.
“Zach and Luke picked up an impressive win at No. 1 doubles,” said Wildcats coach Carl Swanson. “They both fought hard and came up just short of the finish line in singles play.”
In other singles pairings, Bower prevailed over Roos 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1, Mitch Yannello defeated Trousdale 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4, Dickey turned away Hawkins 6-0, 6-2 at No. 5, and Jake Yannello silenced Mangan 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6.
“We did a good job of challenging and contesting one of the top teams in our conference,” said Swanson.
COMING UP: Wrapping up NWC play, Linfield heads to Salem Friday to face the Willamette Bearcats in a 4 p.m. match.