Tennis sweeps conference, Harris celebrated


Hugh Hammons

Elsa Harris receiving a senior award from coach Carl Swanson.

Alex Jensen, Sports Editor

Women’s tennis clinched the Northwest Conference Championship title over the weekend showcasing their regular season conference dominance. The Wildcats are walking into the NWC Tournament next weekend as the top-seeded team sweeping the conference with an 8-0 record.

“Everyone played super well and competed at a very high level this weekend,” junior Sarah Sweet said.

The Wildcats closed out the season playing the Willamette Bearcats in Salem and the Puget Sound Logger at home on Sunday. The ‘Cats left the capitol sweeping the Bearcats 9-0. And at home, the Loggers were also cut down 9-0.

“It was such an amazing way to end the regular season and win the conference for the third time,” she said. “We’re very excited for next weekend to compete in another conference tournament.”

Lone senior Elsa Harris concluded her regular season college career on Sunday. She beat out Loggers Nicole Bouche in singles 6-2, 7-1 (1). And in double her and sophomore Michelle Uyeda closed out Loggers Lisa Owens and Bouche 8-3. 

“It felt great to win this last match on our home courts,” Harris said. 

Harris has a 6-2 conference record in singles. Her only single match losses were to Lewis and Clark’s Riley Hanks and Whitman’s Mary Hill. With doubles partner Uyeda the pair have a conference ranking of 7-4. The pair is ranked ninth in the Western region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. 

“Today [Sunday] was magical,” Harris said about how thankful she was for all the families and friends that came to support the team and her on senior day.

In singles, Uyeda settled Owens 6-2 in both matches, marking her twelfth straight singles match win. Uyeda is ranked third in the Western region with a conference record of 9-0 and an overall record of 15-1. Her only loss this season was to Anouk Van Hoek of Hawai’i Hilo University. 

Second-seeded doubles team made up of freshman Tessa Kern and junior Riley beat the Loggers Bridget Myers and Barclay Fagg 8-4. Clayeux also finished off Fagg in their singles match 6-0 and 6-2. 

Additionally, Kern closed out Myers 6-2 and 6-2 in their singles match.

Haley Fujimori and Michelle Ly finished off their doubles opponents Lia Van Stetter and Alexis Choy 8-4. Fujimori shut out Loggers Avery Honaker 6-0 and 6-0 in her singles match.

Alysse Nakasato came in for the singles matches and outplayed her Logger’s opponent Steeter 6-2 and 6-1. 

Saturday, the Wildcats started off strong overtaking the Bearcats in the doubles play 3-0. Uyeda and Harris played their match 8-0. Kern and Clayeux followed suit closing out 8-0. Ly and Fujimori finished 8-1.

The ‘Cats continued their strength into the singles matches sweeping 6-0. 

Fiocchi flushed her opponent Sylvia Marr 6-0 in each match. Junior Sarah Sweet, junior Jesse Vezo and Nakasato all closed out their singles matches with 6-0, 6-1 finishes. 

Since the ‘Cats clinched conference title they will host the NWC Tournament Saturday. 

Linfield will take the court first against the Loggers at 10 a.m. At 2 p.m. Lewis and Clark and Whitman will go head to head. The semifinal winners of those matches will compete on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. 

“Our team has worked so hard for this,” Harris said. “Now we’re ready to work even harder this week in preparation for the conference tournament.” 

The conference tournament will decide who is going to move on to regionals.