By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University men's tennis senior Aaron Schechter (Seattle, WA/James A. Garfield HS), playing on Senior Day, won #2 singles for the Bearcats in straight sets on Sunday, April 21, but Pacific University downed the Bearcats in the team competition, 8-1. Fellow senior Endy Zarate (Salem, OR/McKay HS) of Willamette joined Schechter in competing against the Boxers, but Zarate was defeated at #6 singles.
Pacific improved to 11-8 overall, 6-2 in the Northwest Conference. The Boxers are ranked #14 in the West Region of NCAA Division III. Willamette concluded its season at 1-14 overall, 1-7 in the NWC.
Schechter breezed through his two sets against Garret Katayama at #2 singles, winning 6-2, 6-0. Schechter was Willamette's only winner, but the Bearcats put up significant resistance during most of the singles matches.
"Another great season in the books," Willamette Head Coach Rick Wood said. "Endy Zarate and Aaron Schechter finished their senior season by finally getting to play outside. Zarate had a good final battle, and Schechter came away with a win. I appreciate all the effort and hard work from the boys."
At #1 singles, Reyn Miyagawa of Pacific outlasted Andrew Kabacy (Fr., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS) of Willamette in a very close match that included a tie-breaker in the second set. Miyagawa won 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). Joey Balleweg of Pacific added a win at #3 singles, as he fought off Colin Fisher (Jr., Caldwell, ID/Thomas Jefferson Charter School), 6-4, 6-3.
The #4 singles match was won by Reece Parr for the Boxers, but he had to battle into a super tie-breaker played instead of a third set before winning, 7-5, 5-6, 10-7. At #5 singles, Cooper Rich grabbed a win for the Boxers, as he gained a slight edge on Luke Hiserman (So., Monterey, CA/Pacific Grove HS) of Willamette, 7-5, 6-3. Zarate was defeated by Matt Weiler at #6 singles, 6-1, 6-2.
Pacific won all three doubles matches while losing a total of only three games. Leading the way were Koby Murata and Rayden Murata in the #1 doubles match.
Murata and Murata, who entered the match ranked #12 in the West Region, built a 6-1 lead on Schechter and Kabacy of Willamette. The WU tandem split the next two games, but trailed 7-2. Schechter and Kabacy then forced Murata and Murata into a series of deuce serves in the next game, before Pacific held serve to win the game and take #1 doubles, 8-2.
Joey Hug and Reyn Miyagawa won #2 doubles for the Boxers, while losing only one game. Sean Murphy and Griffin Fraser added a win for Pacific at #3 doubles.
Big Moment of the Match for Willamette
Aaron Schechter completed his Willamette tennis career in style with
a straight-set victory over Garret Katayama of Pacific at #2 singles.
Schechter easily won the match, 6-2, 6-0. It was Schechter's 53rd
career singles match in NCAA dual meet action.
The 2018-19 Willamette University Men's Tennis Team