by Drew Moller
The Pioneers ran into a focused and motivated Whitman squad Sunday in the LC tennis dome. Playing with an altered line-up, the Missionaries blanked the Pioneers 9-0. Strong doubles efforts and a blockbuster match at #1 singles highlighted the day for Lewis & Clark.
The Pioneers came out in doubles with the intention of taking the net from their opponents. There were many opportunities to finish points at the net but the Pioneers were not able to take advantage of enough of them. In contrast, the Whitman men showed why they are the best in the conference by finishing points and using their serves to keep LC on the defensive. At #2 doubles Junya Furakawa and Kerry White relentlessly pursued their opponents with approach shots and fought their way into a close one. The pressure was on the Whitman team of Adriel Borshausky and Matt Tesmond to serve out the match. Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the Whitman team served it out in emphatic fashion to win 8-6.
The match of the day came at #1 singles where Peter Ray battled it out with Sam Sadeghi. The players battled back and forth throughout the first set. Ray had his opportunities but too many errors were made and the first set slipped away 6-4. Ray reloaded and came out in the second set energized and enthused. He powered through the second set using his big serve and opportunistic forehand (which was now in a rhythm) and finished the set 6-2 with a resounding ace up the middle. In the super tiebreak, Ray fell behind 6-1 but would not let the deficit keep him down. He proceeded to even the score but a few crucial points went Sadeghi’s way, giving him the match 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (10-8). Another notable match was #2 singles. Furakawa played many close points with Whitman’s Conor Holdon-Burke. The final score in a 6-1, 6-1, loss for Furakawa did not reflect how close the match was. Whitman defeated the Pioneers 6-0, 6-0, at #3 and #4 singles.
The Pioneers now have a much needed rest and do not play again until a battle with Linfield on March 26th.