Written by Student Assistant Carson Barnett
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University men's tennis team will look to build off its success from last weekend as they head into a big weekend series with Northwest Conference rivals University of Puget Sound (0-8, 0-4 NWC) and Linfield College (3-8, 0-2 NWC). Following the Sunday match with Linfield, PLU (4-5, 1-3 NWC) will head to southern California to play three matches over a three day span. In California the Lutes will battle NAIA institution Biola University in La Mirada, California, and SCIAC schools, California Institute of Technology and Occidental College.
Last weekend PLU defeated Bellevue College 6-3 in a home non-conference matchup. Niko Convento won yet another singles match in the No. 1 spot for the Lutes. Convento and Jake Kim also won their No. 1 doubles match 8-2. Chan Thourk, Branson Near, and John Woelfel also chimed in to the action winning their singles matches. Near and Woelfel gave the Lutes another win in the No. 3 doubles match with a close score of 9-8.
Looking forward to the upcoming matches, Head Coach Matt Look is excited for his team. In his first season with the Lutes, Coach Look is hoping to bring an exciting change of culture within the men's tennis program. Look joined the Lutes last summer coming from Division I Seattle University where he was an assistant for two years.
"We are anxiously awaiting our trip to Southern California, but we have some business to take care of at home first. I'm happy with the improvement we've shown since the beginning of the year. We had some of our toughest matches early on in the schedule, and we've gained valuable experience and takeaways in both our wins and losses," said Look. "I'm eager to see round two against UPS to prove to ourselves that we are playing better tennis from a month ago, and take that belief down to Linfield and our matches over Spring Break."
Look is very excited for the future of this program and credits a lot of this first season to the upperclassman.
"As a team, we've fought through some tough opponents, and played with great spirit and constant effort. That's a credit to our upperclassmen leaders. Individually, everyone's had to step up their game, and I believe that we have one of the top players in the conference in Niko on our team. Our future is bright, and I can't wait to see what's next for us!"
Watch the Lutes this weekend take on Puget Sound on Sunday at Lakewood Racquet Club at 1 p.m. and then Sunday head to Oregon to match up with Linfield at 11 a.m. On Tuesday March 27th the Lutes will play their first match in California against Biola University at 2 p.m. On the 28th they will play Caltech at 2 p.m. and on the 29th they will finish the trip with a showdown against Occidental at 5 p.m. at Scholl Canyon Golf and Tennis Club in Glendale, California.