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March 12, 2010

Short-Handed PLU Men's Tennis Falls to Whitman

WALLA WALLA - After going to the deciding singles match in a 5-4 loss to Whitman during the opening weekend of the season, the short-handed Pacific Lutheran men's tennis team was no match for the Missionaries on Friday as the hosts cruised to a 9-0 Northwest Conference win.

With three players who figured to be among the top six not playing because of injury or post-graduate study pursuits, the Lutes (7-4 overall, 7-4 NWC) simply couldn't stay with the Missionaries, ranked No. 25 in NCAA Division III men's tennis. Other than the No. 1 doubles match, where PLU's Joel Trudel and Justin Peterson battled before losing a 9-8 (7-4) tie-breaker to Matt Solomon and Etienne Moshevich, Whitman had its way in the match. The loss was the second in a row for PLU's All-America duo of Trudel and Peterson, ranked No. 12 in the country.

Quin Miller and Christoph Fuchs combined for an 8-4 win over Scott Sheldon and Taylor Dickey at No. 2 doubles, and Jake Cappel and Jeff Tolman topped Brian Higginbotham and Brent Smoots, 8-3, at No. 3.

Whitman swept aside the Lutes in straight sets in all six singles matches. Solomon got revenge for an early season loss to Trudel with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 1, and Tolman did the same with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Peterson.

In the three through six singles matches, Bailey beat Sheldon, 6-3, 6-3, Fuchs topped Dickey, 6-1, 6-2, Sam Sadeghi dumped Smoots 6-1, 6-1, and Follows defeated Higginbotham, 6-2, 6-1.

The Lutes return to Northwest Conference action on Saturday when they take on the Whitworth Pirates in Spokane. PLU nipped Whitworth, 5-4, back in early February.

- PLU -