Written by Student Assistant Kelsey Littleton
TACOMA, Wash. - This weekend the Pacific Lutheran University men's tennis team closes out Northwest Conference play with matches against eastern Washington rivals Whitworth University and Whitman College.
The Lutes (3-10, 3-6 NWC) and Pirates (2-11, 2-6 NWC) will meet twice, hitting the courts at Lakewood Racket Club on Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. PLU's final regular season match of the year will be on Sunday at 10 a.m. against 13th-ranked Whitman (16-5, 7-0 NWC).
Last week the Lutes traveled down to southern California to compete against Biola University, Hope International University, and Occidental College before playing two NWC matches to close out spring break. PLU ended its trip to California with three setbacks, falling 9-0 to Biola, 7-2 to Hope International, and 7-2 to Occidental. Ryan Adams highlighted the week for the Lutes, winning his final three singles matches at the No. 1 position.
"I feel the team played well considering the stiff competition," Head Coach John Cassens said.
These final matches against the Whits will mark the last NWC matches for the program's lone senior James Okubo. Okubo was been playing tennis for PLU for the past four years, resulting in 11 singles wins and 22 doubles wins.
"Playing tennis for PLU has been an amazing experience and will definitely stick with me for the rest of my life," Okubo said.
Okubo's best memories came from the Spring Break trips down to California.
"I was able to get my first ever college singles win," Okubo said. "Also, the trips allowed us as a team to bond."
The chemistry major with a biochemistry emphasis is graduating this May, with plans to take a gap year before attending medical school.
"I can't thank my coaches and teammates enough for supporting me these past four years," Okubo said.