Men’s tennis goes out strong


Fletcher Wilkins

Nathan Saragoza, ‘19, plays in his last doubles match with Luis Rojas, ‘20 here at Linfield and wins in a close match against Willamette.

Alex Jensen, Sports Editor

Men’s tennis closed out their season, going 500 in the conference and having an overall winning record. The Wildcats chased the Willamette Bearcats out of McMinnville on Saturday finishing 8-1. It was the ‘Cats’ last game this season.

Top-seeded doubles pair senior Nathan Saragoza and junior Luis Rojas outbattled their opponents Andrew Kabacy and Aaron Schechter. They overtook them 8-7 (4). 

Saragoza also pulled through with a win in his singles match against Schecter. After falling to Schecter 7-5 in the first game, Saragoza answered back by winning 7-5 in the next. In the tiebreaking game, Saragoza overcame Schechter 11-9 clinching the match win.

“It felt great to win both my doubles and singles matches on our Senior day to close up the season,” Saragoza said. “Both matches were close and happy to end it on a high note.”

Rojas, the top-seeded singles player, faced off with Kabacy. He took him 6-3 and 6-2, earning him the win. Rojas has a conference singles record of 4-2 and an overall record of 8-6.

Second-seeded doubles pair senior J.T. Barcellos and senior Eric Rutherford finished out their opponents Gene Perle-Jones and Colin Fischer 8-3.

In singles, Rutherford closed out Bearcat Charles Pezeshki 6-0 and 6-1. However, after a hard-fought battle, Perle-Jones got the best of Barcellos, who lost the match in the tiebreaking game. 

Doubles duo made up of seniors Trent Prussing and Cameron Ventura beat out Pezeshki and Luke Hiserman 8-0. Prussing also swept Fischer in singles play 6-2, 6-2. 

Senior Jacob Mangan came in for singles play besting Hiserman 6-1, 6-1. 

“Senior day was special for sure,” Mangan said. “To be able to cap off our first winning season in a decade with a strong team win means everything to me.”

Wildcats ended the season ranked fourth in the conference. The team will be graduating five seniors.

“It’s hard to believe that me college tennis career has finally come to an end,” Saragoza said. “It’s been an unbelievable journey with its ups and downs, but I loved and learned from every moment. It was a privilege to represent Linfield and play alongside my teammates. I am going to miss competing at this level.” 

“Having the opportunity to have competed on behalf of Linfield the past four years has been the ultimate privilege and I’ve had the time of my life,” Mangan said.