Young Wildcats fight, fall to Pirates

Sara Levering, Copy Editor

The Linfield men’s tennis team fell 9-0 at home against Whitworth on Saturday.

Whitworth took early control and jumped out to a 3-0 start after doubles. Trent Prussing, ’19, and Charlie Farrenkopf, ’17, pressed at the number two doubles position the most before falling 8-5.

Coach Ben Belletto said, “Whitworth came out with more energy, Trent and Charlie played a great match and with experience, they’ll start pulling matches like that.”

The Pirates wept the ’Cats in straight sets in singles. Jacob Mangan, ’19, pressed at the number six singles position before losing in a tiebreaker 6-2, 7-6 and tiebreaker score 6-4.

Belletto suggested there is a gap because this conference is competitive and there is a gap close and improve upon.

On Sunday, the Wildcats faced the reigning Northwest Conference champions Whitman. Whitman is ranked 17th nationally and 4th regionally.

Once again, the ’Cats struggled with doubles. Whitman jumped out to 3-0 start. In doubles action, one doubles duo Ben McNair, ’18, and Carter Pentz, ’19, were swept 8-0.

Number two doubles consisting of Prussing and Farrenkopf fell 8-2 and third doubles Mangan and Liam Spearnak, ’18, put up a good fight but fell 8-4.

The ’Cats tried to bounce back in singles play, but all singles play was lost in straight sets by Whitman.

In first singles, McNair fell 6-1, 6-3. Second singles was Prussing and he fell 6-3, 6-2.

Pentz at the third singles fell 6-0, 6-1. Farrenkopf at fourth lost 6-1, 6-2. In fifth singles, Mangan fought but fell 6-4, 6-3.

Lastly, in sixth, Spearnak fell 6-1, 6-3. The ’Cats were swept 9-0.

Belletto said, “I can’t say enough of the work that these guys are putting in every day.”

He continued, “Against a team like Whitman who’s been top dog up here for a while and for a reason, it’s obviously a challenge for us. We played with poise and better discipline.”

Next up, the Wildcats face the Pacific University Boxers at home on March 5, at noon.