By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Four Willamette University women's tennis players competed during the opening day of the ITA Northwest Regional on Friday, Sept. 30. The event, which will continue on Saturday and Sunday, is being hosted by Whitman College.
The Bearcats lost all four first round matches, including two losses to seeded opponents. Mina Mizutani (Fr., Los Alamitos, CA/Los Alamitos HS) lost to 6th-seeded Bella Hoyos from Whitworth University, 6-0, 6-0. Alexis Gjurasic (So., Olympia, WA/Capital HS) fell to Riley Clayeux of Linfield College, 6-1, 6-3. Clayeux is one of eight players sharing the #9 seed.
Willamette's Mikaila Smith (Jr., Mill Valley, CA/Tamalpais HS), also seeded #9, was defeated by Adrienne Fox of Lewis & Clark College in two very close sets. Fox prevailed after winning the second set in a tie-breaker for a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) win. Taylor Barnes from George Fox University downed Hannah Andres (So., Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS) of Willamette, 6-1, 6-0.
Smith and Mizutani picked up wins for the Bearcats in the first round of the singles consolation bracket. Smith rolled past Ingrid Ericksen of Pacific Lutheran University, 6-1, 6-0. Mizutani also won easily with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Mei Roen from University of Puget Sound.
Also in the singles consolation bracket, Gjurasic was defeated by Emily Beemsterboer of PLU, 6-1, 6-1, while Andres fell to Natalie Kelly of L&C, 6-0, 6-1.
The second round of consolation matches in singles will be played on Saturday morning.
In the opening round of doubles action, Lindsey Brodeck and Lori Sheng from Whitman downed Andres and Mizutani of Willamette, 8-0. Beemsterboer and Emily Bower of Pacific Lutheran outscored the Bearcats' team of Smith and Gjurasic, 8-4.
Rain forced the rest of Friday's doubles schedule -- the second round of the championship bracket and the first round of the consolation bracket -- into Saturday. Andres and Mizutani will have a bye in the opening round of consolation doubles play, while Smith and Gjurasic will take on Paige Rohrbach and Madeline Ball from Whitworth.