(Story by Colin Storm)
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Whitworth freshman Jenny Adams upset the second seed in the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional semifinal, but fell just short in the championship, falling to top-seeded Courtney Lawless of Whitman.
Lawless will represent the region, comprised of Northwest Conference teams, at the 2014 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in South Carolina on Oct. 9-12. Adams will be the region's first alternate.
"It's fairly uncommon for a freshman to make it to the finals," said Whitworth coach Jo Ann Wagstaff. "For Jenny to do that not only as a freshman, but also when our conference has never been so young and talented, really makes this a special accomplishment."
In the morning semifinal, Adams came up against second-seeded Kaitylyn Lomartire, a sophomore from Pacific. The pair traded breaks four times over the first ten games to get to 5-5, but Adams responded with a hold after a long game. A couple loose points from Lomartire gave Adams the first set, 7-5.
Early in the second set Adams broke Lomartire to build a 3-2 lead. A couple of quick holds later, Adams led 5-3 with Lomartire serving to stay in the tournament. A 30-love lead was quickly erased by Adams, who on her first match point, hit a backhand a drop shot that Lomartire did not go after, giving Adams the thrilling 7-5, 6-3 win.
"I felt like I stayed in the match both physically and mentally," Adams said later.
An hour later, Adams faced top-seeded and two-time defending champion Lawless, who made short work of Adams 6-0, 6-1. Lawless and her twin sister, Morgan, also won the doubles tournament.