Apr 06, 2019

Bruins Cruise Past Boxers In Top-10 West Region Showdown

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 No. 31-ranked George Fox men's tennis team hosted Pacific (Ore.) University in a Northwest Conference battle on Saturday, winning the matchup, 9-0.


Both teams came into the match ranked inside the top-10 in the latest ITA West Region rankings. The Bruins are ranked at No. 9 in the West Region, while the Boxers are ranked at No. 10.

The Bruins faced some early adversity in doubles play, as the Boxers came out swinging. In fact, the Boxers led in all three matches before the Bruins were able to claw back and retake the lead. Keaten Baker and Will Leach won a tightly contested match at the No. 1 spot, taking the tiebreaker, 8-7 (10-5). Payton Namba and Thierry Van Os took care of business at the No. 3 spot with an 8-5 win to give the Bruins a 2-0 advantage.

Alex Namba and Luke Lemaitre closed out doubles play with a gusty match at the No. 2 spot. A. Namba and Lemaitre grabbed the Bruins' final point in doubles with an 8-7 (10-5) tiebreaker victory.

"We did not play particularly well early on in doubles and as a result, we put ourselves in a hole in all three matches," said head coach Neal Ninteman. "I'm very proud of how the guys responded to that adversity and claw their way back to a victory in all three."

With a 3-0 lead going into singles play, the Bruins maintained a new level of focus to win five of the six points in straight sets. Leach won his match, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 1 spot, while Lemaitre won at the No. 2 spot, 6-2, 6-0. Van Os was dominant in his match at the No. 6 spot, as he pulled off the clean sheet with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

Baker had the toughest battle in singles play and the only match that went to three sets. Baker took on Boxers' Rayden Murata at No. 3 singles and the two split the first two sets. Baker won the first set with a 7-6 (10-3) tiebreaker, while Murata pulled off a 6-3 margin in the second set. Baker went on to pull off the final set with a 1-0 (10-5) tiebreaker to keep the Bruins perfect on the day.

"I'm very encouraged by the way the guys stepped up and played with energy today," added Ninteman. "We knew it was a top-10 battle in the region and we wanted to put together a good showing."

What It Means:

The Bruins improve to 8-7 on the season and 4-1 in NWC play.

What Comes Next:

They will face No. 30 Lewis & Clark on Sunday, April 7, at 11:00 am in Portland.