By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Aaron Schechter (So., Seattle, WA/James A. Garfield HS) and Gunnar Lee (Sr., Hilo, HI/St. Joseph School) of Willamette University won #1 doubles in a tie-breaker, and Schechter won at #2 singles in straight sets, but Whitworth University downed the Bearcats, 7-2, in Northwest Conference men's tennis action on Sunday, March 5 at the Salem Tennis and Swim Club. Whitworth moved to 1-6 on the season, 1-4 in the NWC, while Willamette slipped to 1-5 overall, 1-4 in the NWC.
In the battle at #1 doubles, Schechter and Lee outlasted Shane Sandlin and Jeffrey Vulis of Whitworth, 9-8. The Bearcat tandem won the tie-breaker 7-4 when the teams were deadlocked at 8-8 after 16 games. Schechter was victorious for the Bearcats at #2 singles, 6-3, 6-2, against Caleb Hughes.
Whitworth won #2 and #3 doubles, before prevailing in five of six singles matches.
At #2 doubles, Hughes and Jake Behards defeated Hunter Yee (Fr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) and Colin Fisher (Fr., Caldwell, ID/Thomas Jefferson Charter School), 8-3. At #3 doubles, Ian Fisher and Ben Bethards outscored Willamettes' team of Derek Lund (Jr., Helena, MT/Capital HS) and Douglas Hochmuth (Sr./So., Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS), 8-6.
The top singles match pitted Lee against Sandlin. Lee took the first set, 7-6, by winning a tie-breaker, 7-2. Sandlin bounced back with a 6-1 win in the second set. Sandlin held a 7-3 advantage in a super tie-breaker to determine the match winner when Lee was unable to continue playing. It is anticipated that Lee will return to action in Willamette's next match.
Ian Fisher of Whitworth downed Yee of Willamette in a close match at #3 singles. Fisher prevailed, 6-3, 6-4. Another close match was played at #6 singles, where Ben Behards of Whitworth held off Colin Fisher of Willamette, 7-5, 6-3.
The Bearcats will play again on Saturday, March 11 at Lewis & Clark College. Match time in Portland, Oregon, is set for 11 a.m. (PST).