PALATINE HILL -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers wrapped up an outstanding fall at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional Championships. Both the women's and men's teams are poised for another exciting season in the Northwest Conference.
The men's fall performance did not go unnoticed this year particularly due to Gordon Barrows and Brenden Barrows advancing to the final match of the ITA Northwest Regional Championships. The pari was defeated by Whitman's Zach Hewlin and Robert Carter, but they made it one round further than they did in 2016. In addition to winning four of five matches in doubles, Brenden Barrows went 1-1 in singles, while Gordon Barrows finished 2-1. Entering the spring season, the pair is 23rd in the first Oracle/ITA Division III Men's National Doubles rankings.
Lewis & Clark was the only other NWC team to receive a first-place vote in the NWC Preseason Coaches Poll, which has the Pioneers picked second behind Whitman.
Seniors Kei Inoue, Keane Hindle and Pim Trouerbach enter their final spring seasons and are ready to go. Inoue had one single win and a doubles loss in the fall, Hindle went 1-1 in doubles matches and Trouerbach lost his first matches in both doubles and singles. After setting a school record for singles winning percentage in 2016, Harrison Collins returns after missing the 2017 spring and fall seasons. He won 15 of 19 matches during his sophomore season.
Raed Attia spent his sophomore season as the team's primary No. 1 singles entry. During the ITA Northwest Regional Championships, Attia went 1-1 and is still expected to go up against the best in the conference during the spring. His freshman brother, Ramez Attia, went 1-2 in singles and lost his only doubles match.
The underclassmen for the Pioneers combined for a singles record of 9-12 and paired up with a variety of upperclassmen during doubles. Jackson Powell had the most wins among the returning sophomores in 2017, totaling a 13-4 record and 7-2 in NWC matches. Brendan Adams was the only other freshman, now a sophomore, to compete in 2017, going 2-1 in singles. Will McDermott and Ryan Hayes will look to their first spring competition. Along with Ramez Attia, Marc Hayashi and Riley Vickers will make their spring debuts.
Two years removed from their first Northwest Conference championship season since 1979, the Lewis & Clark women enter the spring ranked 28th in the nation, one spot back of conference-mate Whitman and three places in front of defending NWC champion Linfield at No. 31. Lewis & Clark was selected third in the NWC Preseason Coaches Poll behind Linfield and Whitman.
Christine Eliazo, who opens the season ranked 50th in the country, will try to finish her senior season as the program's all-time winningest competitor. She had a 4-1 singles and 3-1 doubles record in the fall with Natalie Kelly as her partner. Kelly also had a 2-1 singles record in the fall and will return to the team at the conclusion of the women's basketball season.
Adrienne Fox heads into the spring with a 2-2 singles and 1-1 doubles record. Along with classmate Glenna Gee-Taylor, who had a 1-1 doubles record in the fall and lost her only singles match, Fox was a key part of the team's NWC semifinal last spring. The seniors each had five singles wins last spring. Kacey Incerpi is still going strong after her injury last year limited her to 13 singles matches, of which she won 10. She is predicted to be one of Lewis & Clark's key returning pieces and had a 2-1 singles and 3-1 doubles record in the fall.
Without a junior on the roster, the sophomore class will be a critical component of the team this season. Tash Hood went 2-1 in singles and 1-1 in doubles, while Chloe Sermet lost her only singles match but went 1-1 in doubles with Gee-Taylor at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships. Hood and Sermet both won 12 singles matches last spring. Caitlin Jones went 1-2 in singles and doubles in her debut season, while Caroline Hennes, a two-sport student-athlete who competes in women's soccer, too, went 3-0 in doubles.
Freshmen Riley Hanks and Madelyn Landerfelt both had good showings at the ITA last fall. Hanks went 4-2 in singles, losing to the No. 1 seed Ella Riddle of Linfield in the championship round of 32. The freshman later bowed out in the consolation semifinals and also had a 1-1 record in doubles. Landerfelt went 1-2 in singles and 1-1 in doubles in her first collegiate matches.
Both Lewis & Clark squads have competed in the spring already. The men beat Puget Sound in a non-conference match-up before dropping a pair of duals against top-25 teams, Trinity and Redlands. The women defeated George Fox in a non-conference set.
After a non-conference set with Caltech on Saturday, the Pioneers meet Willamette to open the NWC schedule on Sunday. The conference season continues in Tacoma, Wash. the following weekend against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran before a key showdown with Whitman on Mar. 9. The rest of March features home matches with Whitworth, No. 36 Southwestern and Austin and a trip to George Fox.
In April, the Pios play two in Pomona, Calif. against No. 16 Gustavus Adolphus and No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer before wrapping up the NWC schedule at Linfield and home against Pacific.
Lewis & Clark welcomes in Hardin-Simmons on Friday before home sets with Pacific and Willamette. The NWC counters begin on Mar. 3-4 against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran, respectively. After a trip to eastern Washington against Whitworth and Whitman, the Pios return home to face Austin and George Fox. March concludes with southern California matches against 35th-ranked Redlands and No. 32 Wellesley.
Three April matches wind out the season. Lewis & Clark will be on the road at Willamette on Apr. 8 and Pacific on Apr. 14 before hosting NWC preseason favorite Linfield for Senior Day.