This past weekend, the Pacific Lutheran men’s tennis team fell to conference foes George Fox and Lewis & Clark at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma.
The Lutes hosted their first match last Friday against George Fox, which defeated them 8-1.
Despite the loss, the Lutes fought hard, taking almost every opponent down to the wire.
PLU first-year Sam Stader gave the Lutes its only win of the day, beating Bruins’ senior Justin McClain with set scores of 6-4, 6-4 in their singles match. Stader said that he felt the match went well.
“I felt pretty confident and excited to play in one of my last freshman college tennis matches,” Stader said. “It was really fun, and the nerves weren’t really kicking in.”
Stader improved his singles record to 7-11 with his win against McClain Friday.
Unfortunately, the rest of Stader’s teammates came up short in their matches.
The Lutes looked to turn things around Saturday when they hosted Lewis & Clark, which is 6-10 overall (6-5 in the NWC).
PLU’s regular season wrapped up Saturday as the Pioneers beat the Lutes 7-2.
Every match between the two conference opponents could have gone either way, but the Pioneers capitalized on more opportunities. Lewis & Clark eventually came out with more wins than the Lutes.
First-year duo James Okubo and Stader, who competed together as doubles partners, contributed to the Lutes’ two wins of the afternoon, finishing the season with a 12-5 record.
Okubo said he believed his matches went well, considering he and Stader competed against two of the top athletes in the conference — Scott Monismith and Cameron Smith. Okubo said he felt good about how the season ended.
“Even though we didn’t finish as high as we wanted to, I still feel proud to be a member of this team,” Okubo said. “We stuck together and tried our best. This weekend was a good way to wrap up our season even though we didn’t end up with a team win.”
Sophomore Jake Yannello contributed to the second, and final, win of the day, defeating Pioneers junior Morgan Joyce 6-3, 6-0.
The Lutes finished the season 7-10 overall, 7-5 in conference play. They will not qualify for the NWC Tournament. ◼︎