Sep 24, 2018

Bruins Sweep Singles and Doubles at ITA Northwest Regional Championships

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
 

WALLA WALLA --- The George Fox men's tennis team ended the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in style Monday, as the Bruins swept the singles final and the doubles final with three All-American honors.

Recap:

This marked the second time the Bruins have captured the singles and doubles titles at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships and the third straight year they captured the singles title (Spencer Watanabe, 2016; Watanabe, 2017; Will Leach, 2018).

In the 2016-17 season, Spencer Watanabe claimed the singles title and joined Alex Namba in doubles to complete the sweep. In tonight's final, sophomore Leach had a bit of redemption fill his veins, as he claimed his first All-American honor with the singles title. Last season, Leach matched up against Watanabe in the singles title match but fell to one of the program's best.

This final had a different ending, though, as Leach was able to get over the hump and take down teammate Luke Lemaitre, 6-2, 6-2. With the win over Lemaitre, Leach earned an All-American honor and qualified for the ITA Cup in Rome, Georgia, Oct. 11-14. 

As for doubles, Leach had a short rest and was back out on the court with teammate Keaten Baker to take on No. 1-seed Whitman's Kirsh/Chikkalingaiah. The match itself was full of drama, as each side looked to gain control. The Bruins were able to come out on top in dramatic fashion with a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6) victory to give the Bruins the complete sweep. Both Leach and Baker earned All-American honors for their performance in the doubles title.

"Our goal is to be one of the top teams in the conference and the nation," said associate head coach Jeff Cero. "We have a great group of players who want to learn, improve and continue to get better day in and day out." We are ready and excited to see what these guys continue to do this season." 

Head Coach Neal Ninteman echoed Cero's words, "I'm filled with great admiration, respect, and pride for what our guys did this weekend. The success we came away with today comes from their hard work. We watched a lot of battles and a lot of courageous matches all weekend. These guys have tremendous hearts and left everything out on the courts in every match they played in." 

What Comes Next:

The Bruins will send Leach and Baker to compete in singles and doubles at the ITA Cup Oct. 11-14.