Feb 14, 2019

Bruins Drop Gritty Match To Vandals

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)
  • Eight All-Americans
  • 37 All-NWC Athletes

NEWBERG --- The George Fox men's tennis team hosted NCAA Division I the University of Idaho on Thursday evening, dropping the highly contested match, 4-3.  


This marked the second straight Div. I matchup for the Bruins, who fell to Portland State on Feb. 8, 6-1. The Bruins had a fire in them to start things off in doubles, as they won the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. With Division I rules in play, the doubles matches were worth one point combined. 

The Bruins trailed early in doubles play as Will Leach and Keaten Baker fell at the No. 1 spot, 6-3. Alex Namba and Luke Lemaitre evened things out with a 6-3 win over Lucas Coutinho and Valentin Popescu at No. 2. The doubles point came down to the third and final match, and Thierry Van Os and Payton Namba did not disappoint. The duo rallied back from an early deficit to win 12 of the final 13 points and close out the match at 7-5. 

In singles play, the Vandals came out strong. The away team jumped out with leads in four of the six matches. Idaho leveled the score at 1-1 with a win at the No. 3 spot and closed out touch matches at No. 5 and No. 2 to take a 3-1 lead. The Bruins wouldn't go down without a fight, though, as Leach charged back with a gritty come-from-behind victory at the No. 1 spot. Leach defeated Carlos Longhi Neto, 1-6, 7-6, 2-0 (ret.). P. Namba followed his teammate and kept the Bruins' hopes alive with an impressive performance at the No. 6 spot. He won his match, 6-0, 6-1, to knot the dual matchup at 3-3. 

With the deciding point on the line, Coutinho of Idaho at the No. 4 spot sealed the victory with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, victory. 

"Our men battled bravely today against a very tough opponent," said head coach Neal Ninteman. "I'm super proud of their courage and grit." 

What It Means:

The Bruins are now 1-2 on the season with both losses to Div. I opponents. 

What Comes Next:

The Bruins finish their Div. I gauntlet on March 8 against Seattle University in the Multi-Use Facility at 3:30 pm.