PARKLAND - In a battle of regionally ranked teams, Linfield rallied from a 2-1 doubles deficit to win five singles matches and defeat Pacific Lutheran, 6-3, in a Northwest Conference women's tennis match played Saturday at Sprinker Tennis Center.
The winning margin was particularly important for Linfield, because by virtue of beating the Lutes 6-3, it will receive a point toward the all-important NWC standings that determine the four teams that make the conference postseason tournament. PLU had beaten Linfield by a 5-4 score in the opening match of the season, so the Wildcats needed to beat Pacific Lutheran by at least 6-3, and they accomplished that task with their rally in singles play.
The Lutes, ranked 11th in Division III West Region women's tennis, started out well with wins in two doubles matches. Samantha Lund and Payton McGriff took the No. 1 match by an 8-5 margin, and Leah Newell and Tina Aarsvold followed with an 8-6 triumph at No. 2. Kiala Nip and Kelly Watanabe of Linfield beat Katherine Patton and Allison McClure, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles.
Only Aarsvold at No. 4, where she beat Kwynn Ecton 6-4, 6-4, was a PLU singles winner. Two of the matches went to a tiebreaker, Newell falling to Lexi Thomas 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2, and McClure losing to Courtney Jernstedt, 7-5, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4), in a super tiebreaker at No. 6.
Linfield is ranked 12th in the region.
- PLU -