Mar 23, 2018

Bruins Take Two To Start Cali Road Trip

A Winning Tradition

  • One NWC Player of the Year (Spencer Watanabe, 2017-18)
  • One NWC Freshman of the Year (Luke Lemaitre, 2018-19) 
  • Seven Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Seven All-Americans
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes

WHITTIER --- The George Fox men's tennis team kicked off the California road trip in style Friday night, as the Bruins won the unusual doubleheader against Whittier (5-4) and Occidental (8-1).


Match One:

The Bruins started their day with an afternoon match against the Poets of Whittier College. The Bruins were able to secure an early lead after going 2-1 in doubles play. Spencer Watanabe and Will Leach came away with an 8-4 win at the No. 1 spot, while Jonah Wafula and Justin Barton had a huge win at the No. 3 spot, 8-5. Alex Namba and Payton Namba almost recorded the sweep in doubles, but fell at the No. 2 spot, 8-6.

The Bruins and the Poets had a battle in singles looking to close out the match. Watanabe won his match at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-1 to give the Bruins their third point. Keaten Baker secured the Bruins fourth point with a huge match at the No. 5 spot, 6-4, 6-3. Leach provided the dagger for the Bruins, as the freshman clinched the match at the No. 2 spot with a 6-3, 6-2 victory. The Poets were able to steal wins at the No. 3, 4 and 6 singles matches, but it was too little too late.

"Whittier was an extremely tough competitor," said head coach Neal Ninteman. "It was a close well-fought battle and we were fortunate to come out on top. I was proud of the way our guys fought and dug deep to pull off the win."

Match Two:

The second match was a whirlwind for the Bruins, as they had to rush from their match against Whittier to Los Angeles to face Occidental.

With an hour commute and a 15-minute warmup, the Bruins seemed unfazed in their final match of the day.

The Bruins picked back up from where they left on in their first match, taking a 2-1 lead after doubles play. Watanabe and Leach were wonderful as the tag team won at the No. 1 spot, 8-2. The Namba brothers bounced back with a tough win at the No. 2 spot, 8-6. The Tigers grabbed their lone point of the match at the No. 3 spot with an 8-4 win.

The Bruins power was on full display when it came to singles, as the Bruins recorded five two-set victories. Watanabe won his match at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-4, while Leach won his at the No. 2 spot, 6-1, 6-2. Namba performed well at the No. 3 spot with a 6-2, 7-6 win, and brother P. Namba pulled off a three-set win at the No. 4 spot, 6-1, 6-7, 1-0 (10-7). Baker and Wafula closed out the match with big wins of their on to help the Bruins start the road trip unbeaten.

What It Means:

The Bruins are now 9-2 on the season and 3-2 in the NWC.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins face No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Saturday, March 23 with the match set for 3 pm.