Friday, March 8, 2013

Women’s tennis team goes streaking again

Lutes drop three straight after starting season 4-0

by Brandon Adam, Sports Writer
The Pacific Lutheran women’s tennis four-game, season-opening winning streak came to an end last weekend.

They lost three straight matches to Puget Sound, Lewis and Clark and Whitman.

Though the women’s tennis team performed well in doubles in their match against Whitman, they were unable to produce the same energy to win in singles.

PLU lost 8-1.

Doubles appears to be the team’s strongest area, even when narrowly losing doubles against an undefeated school such as Whitman.

Whitman (7-1, 5-0) is in first place in the Northwest Conference.

"Staying fierce and continuing to go for the ball definitely was helpful," sophomore Allison McClure said. "All of our matches were super close in dubs [doubles] and I think that’s a good representation of how it’s going to go into singles."

McClure, along with her hitting partner — sophomore Katherine Patton — lost their doubles’ match 8-6 in the Whitman match.

In tennis, if a team performs well during doubles, it sets a team up for victory in singles.

The players and coaching staff were hopeful the strong start in doubles would carry over into singles.

"It was a great way to go out in singles," head coach Lorie Wood said. "They’re playing well and ready to get out there and fight."

PLU dropped two of the three doubles matches but kept the games close, falling 8-6 and 8-4. The lone doubles win came by the score of 9-7.

"Even though I would have rather won them all," Wood said, "if you lose that closely, it prepares them for singles."

The team couldn’t carry the momentum over to singles, leaving Whitman the winners of all single matches.

Senior Tina Aarsvold and Junior Leah Newell stood out in doubles, winning the only match against Whitman.

The first loss against Puget Sound had a similar pattern last Friday.

PLU was able to hold its own against doubles but couldn’t quite finish in singles.

First-years Samantha Lund and Payton Mcgriff were able to win a doubles match, as well as Aarsvold and Newell.

With PLU leading in 2-1 after doubles, Puget Sound would get the edge in singles, winning four of the six matches.

The second loss on Saturday at Lewis and Clark was much more lopsided with a final score of 9-0.

The women’s tennis team will get another shot at victory tomorrow against Whitworth at 2 p.m.