- One NWC Player of the Year (Spencer Watanabe, 2017-18)
- Six Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
- Three All-Americans
- 33 All-NWC Athletes
A Winning Tradition
GLENDALE --- The No. 28-ranked George Fox men's tennis team bounced back into the win column on Saturday, as the Bruins pulled off a gritty 5-4 win over Occidental College.
The Bruins had their backs against the wall early in the match, as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead after doubles play. Will Leach and Keaten Baker came up short at the No. 1 spot, 8-4, and Alex Namba and Luke Lemaitre fell at the No. 2 spot, 8-7 (7-3). Payton Namba and Thierry Van Os provided a huge spark for the Bruins at the No. 3 spot, taking their match, 8-5, over Tigers' David Zhang and Joseph Schwarcz.
Trailing 2-1 going into singles play, the Bruins were up for the test as Baker squared the match up with a 6-0, 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot. A. Namba won his match, 6-1, 6-3, at the No. 4 spot to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead and Leach shut the door on his opponent at the top spot with a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
With the score at 4-2, the Bruins needed one more win to seal the victory. The Tigers made it tough on the Bruins, as they grabbed back-to-back points at the No. 6 and No. 5 spots to even the score up at 4-4.
It all came down to the final match at No. 2 singles, as Lemaitre and Tigers' Zhang went head-to-head. The Bruin freshman showed poise throughout the entire three-setter, as he jumped out to an early lead in the first set, 6-4. Zhang battled back and forced the extra set with a 6-3 win. Lemaitre had ice in his veins, as he closed the match out with a 6-2 win and gave the Bruins the 5-4 victory.
"This was not an easy comeback against a solid team like Oxy," said head coach Neal Ninteman. "The guys really showed what they are made of down the stretch. Now, we prepare for the defending national champs in Middlebury tomorrow."
What It Means:
The Bruins improve to 5-5 on the season.
What Comes Next:
George Fox will battle No. 2 Middlebury in Claremont, California, on Sunday, March 24, at 11 am.