First conference matches give men’s tennis a win, loss

Sara Levering, sports editor

The men’s tennis team bounced back into Northwest Conference action for its first match against Puget Sound and were victorious 9-0.

Linfield jumped out to a quick lead by capturing all three doubles matches. The first doubles flight with team duo Tyler Linscott, ‘17, and Ben McNair, ‘18, winning 8-3. Second doubles duo was Trent Prussing, ‘19, and Nathan Saragoza, ‘19, winning 8-4. And lastly, Jose Luis Bojas, ‘20, and John Lutaaya, ‘20 winning decisively 8-2.

Singles followed the same suit. Linscott won a close first set and the second decisively, 7-5, 6-2. Rojas won very decisively 6-0, 6-1. McNair at third singles won 6-2, 6-1. Prussing at four singles won 6-4, 6-2.

Saragoza went three sets 6-3, 2-6, 1-0(3). The third set was not completed due to the match victory already been decided. However, he won the tiebreaker, which helped give the Wildcats their 9-0 win. Jacob Mangan, ‘19, also went three sets 6-1, 2-6, and won the tiebreaker.

The Wildcats wanted to keep their streak going, but ended up falling and taking the tough loss against George Fox 3-6.

“Overall, play went good, even though we lost our match today, we played at a much higher level,” said Mangan.

First doubles duo Linscott and McNair battled terribly, but ended up on the losing side 8-5.

Second doubles duo Prussing and Saragoza fell hard, losing 8-1. Third doubles Rojas and Lutaaya was the tightest of the doubles flights, but ended up losing 7-9.

In singles, Linscott struggled and ended up losing 6-2, 6-0 at one singles. McNair put up quite an effort going three full sets but lost 6-4, 0-6, 3-6. Prussing also struggled and lost 2-6, 6-7 in a tight tiebreaker. Rojas was able to put together a win in straight sets for the Wildcats 6-3, 6-4. Saragoza at five singles strung together another win for the ‘Cats also in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. And Lutaaya at six singles fighting a three set match, winning 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.

On the matches, “Our team has shown a lot of grit these first couple matches, there were times George Fox expected to roll us over, but we battled for the full five plus hours today,” said Mangan.

“I think overall play went good this weekend even after a tough loss to George Fox. Nerves were high for some this weekend, but we played better as the matches went on,” said Saragoza.

On things he wish had gone differently, “Losing to George Fox today was tough. One thing we wish we could have done differently was to pull out a couple of our doubles matches. We battled our hardest out, but came up a little too short,” Saragoza said.

On the rest of the season, “We have a lot of optimism looking forward. We had some good matches and we learned a lot from them all. There is still more work to be done, but we’re only moving forward from here,” concluded Saragoza.

The ‘Cats are 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Northwest Conference. Next up, the ‘Cats play against Portland State for an out of conference match at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Portland.