SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth men's tennis team picked up its first win of the 2016 season with a hard-fought 6-3 victory over visiting George Fox on Sunday at the Scotford Tennis Center.
Shane Sandlin and Juhn Gumboc each won twice for the Pirates, who improved to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the NWC. The Bruins dropped to 1-4, 0-2.
Whitworth jumped ahead by claiming two of the three doubles matches. Sandlin and Caleb Hughes defeated Mitchell Miyashiro and Tristen Lerma 8-2 at #3 doubles for the first point. But GFU quickly tied the match when Spencer Watanabe and Chris Lilly topped Drew Brigham and Drew Adams by the same score at #1 doubles.
Blake Miller and Gumboc then won a key point for the Pirates at #2 doubles. After going up by a break early, the Pirate pair gave that service break back to Nick Grafton and Vince Viloria. But Miller and Gumboc broke again and served out to win 8-5.
The visiting Bruins would take a 3-2 lead after winning the first two singles matches. Watanabe got by Brigham 6-4, 6-2 at #1 singles and Lilly defeated Miller 6-2, 6-3 at #2 singles to give the visitors a brief lead.
But freshman Layne Ryerson picked up his first career singles victory as a Pirate at #3 on the ladder with a tough 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 win over Grafton.
With the match tied 3-3 heading to the final set of singles matches, Whitworth pulled away by claiming all three contests. Adams edged Viloria 7-5, 6-4 at #4 to put the Pirates back ahead. Then Sandlin defeated Miyashiro 7-5, 6-2 at #5 singles to clinch the team victory.
Gumboc rallied to pull out a 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (12-10) win over Nick Ekern at #6 singles in what could prove to be a pivotal win when the teams meet again in Oregon later in the season. Gumboc trailed 8-4 in the tiebreak set before rallying to win.
Whitworth is scheduled to play three matches in Oregon next weekend – Friday at Pacific, Saturday at Linfield and Sunday at Willamette.