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February 19, 2010

Lutes Face Lewis & Clark and Pacific this Weekend

THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran (1-1 overall, 1-1 Northwest Conference) visits Lewis & Clark (0-3 overall, 0-2 NWC), Friday, 2:30 p.m.; PLU at Pacific (2-2 overall, 1-1 NWC), Saturday, 10 a.m.

LUTES FACE L&C, PACIFIC THIS WEEKEND: The Pacific Lutheran men's tennis team will travel south to Portland, Ore., this Friday to take on the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in their third Northwest Conference contest of the season. The Pioneers (0-2) are led by George Allen, who although trailing and barely mobile due to an injury, still managed to fight back for one of L&C's two match victories versus Pacific last week. After the 2:30 and 7 p.m. contests in Portland on Friday, the Lutes will then travel west to take on Pacific University on Saturday in Forest Grove, Ore. The Boxers (1-1) handled L&C easily last week, winning every match except both of the No. 1 doubles and singles matches. The Boxers received a strong showing from No. 2 Michael Okada, who posted an 8-1 victory in singles play.

TRUDEL NAMED NWC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Joel Trudel, a senior at PLU from Bremerton, Wash., had a great match against Whitman, defeating nationally ranked opponent Matt Solomon while losing only two games in singles. He also teamed with Justin Peterson to win as the No. 1 doubles team. Joel finished his perfect day with singles and doubles wins over Whitworth opponents as well.

LUTES SPLIT WITH WHITS: In a pair of close Northwest Conference men's tennis matches played Saturday at the UPS indoor courts, Pacific Lutheran opened its 2010 season by losing to Whitman, 5-4, before defeating Whitworth by the same score. Playing against the defending conference champion Whitman Missionaries to open the season, the Lutes put on a strong showing before finally succumbing. PLU opened the match by picking up a pair of doubles points, one of the wins coming in dramatic fashion.  Joel Trudel and Justin Peterson, who won the fall regional doubles title by beating Matt Solomon and Jeff Tolman, did it again to the Whitman duo, this time by an 8-6 score. Whitman got a point at No. 2 doubles where Quin Miller and Christoph Fuchs dispatched Zack AhYat and Taylor Dickey, 8-2. Whitman, needing to win four of the singles matches to defeat the Lutes, did exactly that. The Lutes got wins from Trudel over the nationally-ranked Solomon at No. 1, 6-0, 6-2, and from Peterson over Toman at No. 3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. The Missionaries won three of their four singles victories in three sets, including the deciding match where Chris Bailey took the measure of AhYat at No. 4, 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4. Etienne Moshevich beat Manser at No. 2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, and Fuchs topped Sheldon at No. 5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Follows was an easy winner over Dickey at No. 6, 6-2, 6-1. In the following match, Whitworth provided a tough challenge before the Lutes wrapped up the match on Trudel's 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win over Michael Shelton at No. 1 singles. The match started well enough for the Lutes when they took a pair of doubles points. Trudel and Peterson beat Shelton and Cameron Williams at No. 1, 8-3, and Manser and Sheldon defeated Joe Wales and Colin Zalewski at No. 2, 8-5. The Pirates got their doubles point at No. 3 where Colin Barrett and Blaine Massey took Dickey and Brian Higginbotham, 8-5. In singles action, the Lutes won at 1-3 and Whitworth had the advantage at 4-6. With all of the other matches decided and the score tied at 4-4, that left it up to Trudel, the reigning Northwest Conference Player of the Year, and Whitworth's upstart Shelton. Trudel won the opening set, Shelton took the second, and Trudel finally closed it out at 6-3 in the third.

- PLU -