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.