Men’s tennis team still searching for first conference win

By Giancarlo Santoro, sports writer

The Pacific Lutheran University men’s tennis team is still waiting for their first Northwest Conference win of the 2014 season after losing their home opener 9-0 to the Pacific University Boxers.

Going into the matchup at the Sprinker Recreation Center, the Lutes were 0-2 overall and in conference play. Not even the home advantage could help the Lutes Friday.

“Last year we started off with an upset of one of the top-tier NWC teams and that set the tone for the rest of our season,” said sophomore Brandon Bulaclac. “This year Pacific has done a terrific job recruiting and receiving transfers which made them even stronger.”

First-year Sam Stadter put together the strongest performance of the night for PLU, taking the singles match against Pacific’s Troy Zuroske to three sets. After winning the first set 6-3, Stadter ultimately fell short, losing the second set 6-3 and the third 6-4.

Trying to gain some momentum for the Lutes, sophomore Jake Yannello came close to defeating Pacific’s Brennan Faith by bringing the No. 3 match to extra points. Faith would end up winning 7-5 before winning the next set 6-3.

In the doubles matchup, first-years James Okubo and Stadter did their best to earn a victory in the No. 3 slot, but Lorne Bulling and Clark Wininger proved to be too strong, prevailing 8-6.

“Although we didn’t come out with the win, I look forward to giving them (Pacific) a fight on their home courts,” said Bulaclac.

With the loss, PLU falls to 0-3 while Pacific improves to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in conference.

The Lutes look to get their first NWC win on Saturday against visiting Willamette. 🅼

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