SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women's tennis team has qualified to play in the 2015 Northwest Conference tournament this weekend in Walla Walla, Washington. The tournament, hosted by Whitman College, will determine the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Click here for Whitman's tournament website, which will include live updates.
Tournament Format: As the regular season champion, Whitman is the #1 seed and the host for the four-team event. The Missionaries will take on 4th-seeded Whitworth in Friday's first semifinal at 10:00 am. Second-seeded Lewis & Clark will play #3-seed Linfield in the second semifinal on Friday at 2:00 pm. The winners will meet in the tournament championship game on Sunday at 10:00 am.
Whitman is also hosting the men's tournament, which will run on Saturday and Sunday.
Tournament History: Whitworth has not missed a Northwest Conference tournament since the league went to a team-based event in 2001. In 2011 the tournament changed to a four-team event hosted by the regular season champion. Whitworth won the tournament in 2009 and 2010.
The Pirates: Whitworth is 9-8 overall and 8-4 in the NWC under first year head coach Rachel Aldridge. The Pirates won their final three NWC matches of the season to clinch the fourth and final spot in the NWC tournament.
Morgan McDivitt and Bella Hoyos lead the Pirates in singles victories this season with 13 apiece. McDivitt is 13-2, going 8-0 at #5 singles and 5-2 at #6 singles. Hoyos has moved up the Pirates' ladder to #1 singles this season. She is 13-4 - 9-1 at #3, 3-1 at #2 and 1-2 at #1. Hoyos and Saryn Mooney are 7-2 in doubles as well.
The Opponents: Whitman is 15-5 overall this season and the Missionaries went 12-0 against the Northwest Conference. Whitman defeated Whitworth twice in the early-going of conference play, winning by identical 7-2 scores in Spokane (Feb. 15) and Walla Walla (March 1). The Missionaries have won 27 consecutive matches against NWC opponents and are ranked 23rd in the most recent ITA national ratings.
The last time Whitworth and Whitman met in the NWC tournament came in the semifinals of the 2012 event when the Missionaries defeated the Pirates 5-0 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.