By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NEWBEG, Ore. -- Willamette University began the ITA Northwest Regional by competing in singles and doubles qualifying matches on Friday, Sept. 20. The qualifying matches were held to fill the final spots in the championship brackets, which will begin on Saturday, Sept. 21. The annual tournament is sponsored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
The Willamette doubles team of Andrew Kropp (Fy, Bend, OR/Summit HS) and Jordan Megiveron (Fy., Edmonds, WA/Edmonds-Woodway HS) won their first round match in qualifying, as they moved past Alden Velasco and Paul Wallace from the University of Puget Sound, 8-3. In the second round, Aiden Schutter and Tom Chang of Whitman College downed Kropp and Megiveron, 8-0, to advance into the main draw. Also in doubles qualifying, Luke Hiserman (Jr., Monterey, CA/Pacific Grove HS) and Thomas Andersen (Fy., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) of the Bearcats were defeated by Eric Lim and Luca St. Goar, 8-2, in the first round.
Two of Willamette's double teams were already in the championship bracket and will open play on Saturday. Andrew Kabacy (So., Vancouver, WA/Skyview HS) and Quentin Nigbur (Fy., Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) will take on and Will McDermott of Lewis & Clark in the first round at 5 p.m. (PDT). Colin Fisher (Sr., Caldwell, ID/Thomas Jefferson Charter School) and Gene Perle-Jones (Sr., Eugene, OR/North Eugene HS) will face a team to be announced from L&C or Whitmna at 6 p.m.
Four Bearcats are in the championship singles bracket. Nigbur will take on Rox Rogers of George Fox University at 9:45 a.m. (PDT). Rogers is one of four competitors seeded #5-#8. Kabacy will open play against Rayden Murata of Pacific University, who is one of eight players seeded #9-#16. Their match will begin at 8 a.m. Perle-Jones will compete versus Garrett Katayama of Pacific at 9:45 a.m. Fisher also will play at 9:45 a.m., when he will face Joey Balloweg of Pacific.
In singles qualify matches on Friday, five Willamette student-athletes fell in the first round, four in matches against players from perennial powerhouse Whitman. Dropping singles matches on Friday were Kropp, Megiveron, Hiserman, Andersen and Kai Kumra (Fy., Santa Rosa, CA/Cardinal Newman HS).
Matches at the ITA Northwest Regional are being held at George Fox University's indoor and outdoor courts and also at the Laurel Ridge Country Club in Sherwood, Oregon. Action will continue through Monday, Sept. 23.