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Lutes Rally From Big Hole to Beat Whitworth, 5-4

Luke Olson

PARKLAND – Trailing 3-0 after doubles play, Pacific Lutheran rallied to win five of the six singles matches to defeat the visiting Whitworth Pirates, 5-4, in a Northwest Conference men's tennis match played Friday at Sprinker Tennis Center.

As a result of the win, the Lutes improved to 11-5 for the season and 9-1 in the conference. Whitworth is now 5-13 overall and 4-7 in conference matches.

Whitworth started with a wins in three tightly contested doubles contests. Cameron Williams and Drew Brigham defeated Justin Bower and Taylor Dickey, 8-5, in the featured doubles contest. The second and third doubles matches went to the Pirates by the same 8-6 score. Matt Goebel and Drew Adams beat Luke Olson and Sam Angel at No. 2 and John Talbot and Troy Patterson defeated Jake Yannello and Mitch Yannello at No. 3.

Three of the six singles matches went to a third set, with PLU's lone senior, Taylor Dickey, winning the deciding point with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over Blake Miller at the No. 6 spot.

The other three-set winner for PLU was Mitch Yannello with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 triumph over Chris Engelman. Whitworth's lone victory in singles came from Williams by a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 score over Bower at No. 1.

The other singles matches all went to the Lutes in straight sets, Olson beating Brigham 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2, Angel topping Talbot 7-5, 6-1 at No. 3, and Jake Yannello taking down Dustin McConnell 6-1, 7-6 (0) at No. 5.

"Once again our depth helped us after an uncharacteristic showing in losing all three doubles matches," PLU head coach Rocky Poulin said. "We showed a lot of heart and grit and battled our way to sweep singles two through six.

"Luke Olson set the tone with an amazing match, so the momentum started to shift in our favor and the guys capitalized off of that."

- PLU -