First-year head coach Rocky Poulin received a nice gift from his Pacific Lutheran men's tennis team on Friday afternoon when it defeated visiting College of Idaho, 7-2, in a non-conference match played at Sprinker Recreation Center.
Poulin, an all-conference player for the Lutes back in the mid 1990s, saw his team get off to a solid start with wins in two of the three doubles matches. PLU won five of the six singles matches on their Sprinker Rec Center home court to close out the triumph.
In a tightly contested match at No. 1 doubles, Chen Simpson and Mark Malstrom from College of Idaho came back from an early deficit to beat juniors Zack AhYat and Taylor Dickey, 9-7. At No. 2 doubles, PLU sophomores Neal Berg and Reed Gunstone picked up an 8-5 win over Thomas McMahon and Kenny Stark. The No. 3 doubles match went to the Lutes team of senior Dan Cotton and freshman Luke Olson, 8-4, against C of I's James Collet and Zach Baker.
In singles play, the Lutes won four out of five in straight sets. Perhaps the most impressive came at No. 1 where AhYat shut out Simpson, 6-0, 6-0. At No. 2, Dickey beat Malstrom 6-4, 6-3, at No. 3 it was Cotton over Collet 6-2, 6-1, and at No. 6 it was Gunstone topping Oscar Mariscal 6-3, 6-4.
The No. 5 singles match offered plenty of suspense with Olson and McMahon going to a third set before Olson prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The Coyotes' lone victory came from Kenny Stark at No. 4 singles, where he beat Berg 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Pacific Lutheran returns to action a week from today when it opens Northwest Conference play against defending champion Whitman in Walla Walla. The match is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
- PLU -