SPOKANE, Wash. – The bottom half of the ladder led visiting Pacific Lutheran to a 6-3 win over Whitworth in a Northwest Conference men's tennis match played on Saturday at the Scotford Tennis Center.
The Lutes improved to 6-2 overall and 6-1 in the NWC while the Pirates dropped to 4-8, 4-3.
PLU grabbed a 2-1 lead through the doubles matches. Luke Olson and Sam Angel beat Whitworth's Chris Engelmann and Blake Miller 8-5 at No. 2 doubles while cousins Mitch and Jake Yannello topped Micah Spaun and John Talbot by the same 8-5 score at No. 3.
Cameron Williams and Drew Brigham gave the Bucs their only doubles point with an 8-6 win over Jason Bower and Tayor Dickey. "Number one doubles was tight and was really a couple shots here or there from a win," PLU head coach Rocky Poulin said.
Williams and Brigham tied up the team score with quick victories at the top of the singles ladder. Williams beat Bower 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 and Brigham topped Olson 6-2, 6-1 to off-set a 6-2, 6-1 win over PLU's Angel over Engelmann at No. 3.
With the team score tied 3-3 heading to the bottom half of the ladder, the Lutes put the match away. First Jake Yannello ran past Spaun 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 and then Mitch Yannello finished off Miller 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 to clinch the team victory.
Dickey edged Talbot 6-7 (6), 6-3, 1-0 (12-10) in the only singles match that went more than two sets.
"Again, we came out with some momentum going into singles. The Yannello cousins really stepped up their game today, as did Sam Angel helping us sweep numbers three through six in the singles," Poulin said. "We knew it would be a very important match to help separate us a little bit in the standings, and coming to Whitworth is always a tough place to play. Their coach is a great coach and has their players ready to play, so we knew it would be a battle."
The Lutes, now three matches into a nine-match road journey, return to action at 3 p.m. next Saturday when they play the Seattle University Redhawks.