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Lutes Open Spring Break Trip With Win at Cal Tech

Jason Bower

PASADENA - Pacific Lutheran got strong performances from the lower part of the ladder on Saturday and opened its men's tennis spring break schedule with a 6-3 win over Cal Tech.

Playing later in the afternoon against McPherson (Kansas), ranked No. 17 in the NAIA, the Lutes dropped a 6-3 decision.

PLU 6, Cal Tech 3

The Lutes, now 7-3 for the season, won at second and third doubles to open a 2-1 lead heading into singles, and wrapped up the Cal Tech match by winning four of those six duels.

Jason Bower and Taylor Dickey were double winners on Saturday. First, they combined for an 8-2 win at second doubles, and then Bower followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win at first singles while Dickey was taking a 6-0, 6-1 victory at fifth singles.

Cousins Mitch Yannello and Jake Yannello also swept their doubles and singles matches. Playing at third doubles, the pair picked up an 8-4 victory. In singles, Mitch won 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth slot, and Jake took a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in the sixth position.

"It was our first match outside of the year and the first match in California, not to mention the first match in two weeks. With all those things considered I think we played pretty good and got the win today," PLU head coach Rocky Poulin said.

"Once again our depth was a strength today. Jason (Bower) played a very strong match from the baseline and wore his opponent down. Taylor Dickey had a great day of inspired tennis, it being his last spring break trip," Poulin added.

McPherson 6, PLU 3

Playing their second match of the day, this time against a nationally ranked opponent, the Lutes came up short. Things could have turned around but McPherson won two closely contested singles contests.

McPherson took a 2-1 lead after winning at second and third doubles. The PLU duo of Bower and Dickey was victorious at first doubles with an 8-6 win.

The Yannello cousins were the singles winners for the Lutes, Mitching winning by a 6-3, 6-4 score at No. 4 and Jake taking a 7-5, 6-3 victory at No. 6.

Two close matches that went McPherson's way, thus swinging the result in that team's favor, came at first singles and third singles. Bower lost a 7-5, 6-4 decision at No. 1 and Sam Angel fell by a 2-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (10-6) score at No. 3.

"The match came down to Sam and Jason, and each lost really close matches. All in all the guys played some really good tennis. McPherson is pretty deep and a solid team," Poulin said. 

The Lutes continue their spring break schedule on Sunday when they play at Chapman.

- PLU -