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Lutes Seek First Conference Wins at Home

LUTES RETURN HOME: After returning from eastern Washington empty-handed, Pacific Lutheran will look to bounce back at home in search for its first conference victories against the visiting Linfield Wildcats and George Fox Bruins. PLU will begin its conference home-opening weekend against Linfield at 3:30 p.m. Friday and against George Fox at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Both matches will be held at Sprinker Recreation Center.

MATCHING UP WITH THE WILDCATS: Linfield enters Parkland with a 1-2 overall record and a split 1-1 conference mark to begin the 2012 season. Following a decisive 8-1 loss to rival George Fox in their conference opener, the Wildcats bounced back with a 6-3 victory against Lewis & Clark. The 'Cats early top singles performers are junior Zach Lyons along with freshmen Micah Roos and Luke Kleinman, all sharing 2-1 singles records. For doubles, Linfield is propelled by the undefeated 3-0 paring of Lyons and senior Cody Levine. The Wildcats, who finished the 2011 season tied for fifth in Northwest Conference play, currently sit tied for fourth place with George Fox in the early conference standings.

GETTING TO KNOW THE BRUINS: Sharing an early fourth place conference tie with rival Linfield, George Fox also enters this weekend with a 1-1 NWC record. At 2-4 overall, the Bruins dropped matches to tough Division I opponents, getting swept 9-0 to UC Davis and 7-0 to Portland State. The Bruins feature a young roster which is led by sophomore Preston Mann who holds a 2-4 record at No. 1 singles. Another leading singles performer along with Mann is fellow sophomore Justin McClain who claims a 3-3 record at No. 3 singles.

LUTES AND LITTLE LUTES: The Pacific Lutheran men's and women's tennis teams are proud to join up with Sprinker Tennis Center to announce the 2012 Lute of the Week/Little Lute of the Week promotion. At each Saturday home match, the PLU tennis teams will pick one outstanding varsity tennis player to be the Lute of the Week. At the same time, Sprinker Tennis Center will choose one lucky outstanding junior tennis player to the Little Lute of the Week. Each player will earn a free T-shirt along with having their picture showcased at Sprinker for the week. The junior tennis player will get to be on the court during the team warm-ups and introductions.

WHITMAN 8, PLU 1: A young Pacific Lutheran tennis team gave nationally ranked Whitman a battle before dropping an 8-1 Northwest Conference men's tennis match played Friday afternoon at Bratton Tennis Center. Pacific Lutheran picked up its lone team point at No. 3 doubles where Spencer Herron and Neal Berg outlasted Will Huskey and Steven Roston, 9-8 (14-12). Additionally, the Lutes came close to a win at No. 1 doubles where Whitman's Conor Holton-Burke and Matt Tesmond held off Zack AhYat and Taylor Dickey, 8-2. At No. 2 doubles, Andrew La Cava and James Rivers beat Dan Cotton and Luke Olson, 8-1.The match was already the ninth of the season for the 29th-ranked Missionaries, who are now 6-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference. PLU was playing just its second match and is now 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.

WHITWORTH 8, PLU 1: Taylor Dickey triumphed at No. 3 singles but he was the only Pacific Lutheran winner as Whitworth defeated the Lutes, 8-1, in a Northwest Conference men's tennis match played on Saturday.Whitworth earned all three doubles points. The closest of the three matches came at No. 3 where John Talbot and Ben Hamming pulled out an 8-5 win over Spencer Herron and Neal Berg. The other two doubles matches went quickly for the Pirates as Daniel Redfern and Cameron Williams topped Zack Ah Yat and Taylor Dickey 8-3 at No. 1, while Micah Spaun and Stefan Dernbach rolled past Daniel Cotton and Luke Olson 8-2 at No. 2. AhYat pulled an abdominal muscle in doubles and battled through the injury in singles, losing 6-0, 6-3 to Redfern in the featured match. Williams swept Cotton 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2, before PLU's Dickey held off Spaun 7-6, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.Talbot pulled away from Berg to win 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4 singles, while Dernbach turned a fast start into a 6-0, 7-5 win over Olson at No. 5 singles. Herron, suffering from a blister on his hand, dropped a 6-1, 6-2 decision to Hamming at No. 6 singles.