Wildcats battle, fall to Pirates and Missionaries

Sara Levering, Copy Editor

The Linfield men’s tennis team faced the Whits this past weekend and started by paying a visit to Spokane, Washington to face the Whitworth Pirates.

The ’Cats were down their top player sophomore Ben McNair.

Coach Belletto was forced to mix up his roster a bit. For doubles, in top number one position, Trent Prussing, ’19, and Tim Hawkins, ’16, went down 8-4.

At two doubles, freshmen duo Carter Pentz and Jacob Mangan were defeated 8-3. In third doubles, Charlie Farrenkopf, ’17, and Liam Spearnak, ’18, went down 8-4.

The ’Cats were down 0-3 early and singles was not looking as promising either. All singles matches losing in straight sets.

Prussing at number one singles went down in straight sets, the second set being a decisive tiebreaker but ultimately losing 6-2, 7-6 (7-3 tiebreaker). Pentz at number two singles was dominated 6-0, 6-1.

Hawkins at third doubles lost 6-1, 6-1. In bottom flight of singles, Mangan went down 6-0 and battled hard but lost 6-3 in the second set.

Farrenkopf struggled at fifth singles 6-0, 6-0 and Spearnak battled in the first set and it looked promising but lost 7-5, 6-1.

Spearnak said, “Play was disappointing, but we played really well. We’ve definitely improved from the beginning of the season to now.”

He says improvements are heavily reliant on capitalizing and figuring out doubles line-ups as the team is still experimenting with pairs. He also commented that the losing streak has taken a toll on the team but they need to keep in mind that they have improved immensely.

The ’Cats faced Whitman, the defending Northwest Conference champs on Sunday in Walla Walla, Washington.

The lineup resembled from the day previous. Prussing and Hawkins at number one doubles went down 8-2.

Freshman duo of Pentz and Mangan struggled and went down 8-0. And Farrenkopf and Spearnak went down 8-3.

This is a familiar feeling being down 0-3 going into singles action. Singles matches didn’t go well; all singles matches went down in single sets.

Prussing once again at number one singles went down and battled hard 6-3, 7-6. Pentz went down 6-0, 6-0.

Hawkins and Mangan had identical scores and struggled in which ultimately lost 6-0, 6-1. Farrenkopf did better than the day previous and went down 6-1, 6-3. Alec Wisthoff, ’17, battled at the six singles position and lost 6-3, 6-0.

The ’Cats are now 1-6 in Northwest Conference play and face Treasure Valley Community College at 10am on March 19 in McMinnville.

After spring break, they spring back into NWC action facing Puget Sound on April 3 at noon in McMinnville.