Wildcats come through against Bruins
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Taking care of business in doubles for the first time this season, Linfield earned its first women’s tennis victory of the year with a convincing 7-2 defeat of George Fox Saturday afternoon inside Rutschman Fieldhouse.
The Wildcats (1-4, 1-2 NWC) won their first two doubles matches of 2013 before claiming five of six of the contested singles contests to snap a four-match losing streak and deny the Bruins (0-3, 0-2) their first victory.
All three doubles flights ended in identical 8-4 scores, but it was Linfield that took the 2-1 advantage into one-on-one competition.
Caroline Brigham (Jr., Eagle, Idaho) and Kwynn Ecton (Fr., Fort Collins, Colo.) opened up with the victory at No. 2 doubles, turning away the Bruins’ second-slotted tandem of Alyssa Emoto and Krista Rey. George Fox knotted the score with a win in the top doubles flight, as Molly Beaumont and Shaina Inn topped Gretchen Jernstedt (Soph., Wilsonville, Ore.) and Lexi Thomas (Sr., Redding, Calif.).
Rounding up doubles action were Kaila Nip (Soph., Lahaina, Hawaii) and Kelly Watanabe (Soph., Kirkland, Wash.), who tilted the count back in the Wildcats’ favor with their triumph over Chantelle Hadeed and Ali Diehl on the far court.
Thomas, Brigham and Nip swept the top three singles flights to quickly push Linfield to the five points needed for the match victory. Thomas avenged her doubles loss to Beaumont in singles, winning by a score of 6-4, 6-2. Brigham downed Emoto 6-2, 6-1 and Nip handily defeated Inn 6-1, 6-1.
Watanabe and Jernstedt kept things rolling for the Wildcats with their victories at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, respectively. Watanabe nearly blanked Rey 6-1, 6-0 while Jernstedt earned the 6-2, 6-3 decision over Alissandra Wittrig.
Hadeed assured the Bruins did not walk away empty-handed in singles action with her 6-3, 7-5 win over Ecton at No. 4 singles.
“It was a good team effort,” said head coach Amy Dames Smith, pointing out that “everyone that played in the lineup won a match, whether it was in singles or doubles.”
AHEAD: Linfield turns right around to play host to Whitworth Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.