Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Caroline Dreher headlined the weekend as the Pacific Lutheran University women's tennis team competed at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Regional hosted by Whitman College.
"The Lutes competed well this weekend. Now we know what our competition looks like for the season ahead and what we need to work on to be more competitive," said Head Coach Lorrie Wood.
Dreher ripped off three consecutive wins in the ITA singles main draw before ultimately falling in the quarterfinals. The senior opened the tournament by breezing past Whitworth University's Emily Sandquist, 6-1, 6-0, before netting a hard fought, 6-4, 6-7(3), 10-7, decision over Linfield College's Kelsey Bartlett. Dreher disposed of Linfield's Tash Hood by a, 6-0, 6-2, scoreline before stumbling 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, to Linfield's Christine Eliazo in the quarterfinals. Also experiencing success in the main draw was Victoria Bolshakova, downing Pacific University's Megan Meatte before faaling in the second round to Josie LeGarza.
"Caroline had a great tournament. She played well in her first three rounds being tested early in the 2nd round but settled into her game and won in a 3rd set tie breaker. Then in the 4th round she stepped it up a notch to play some of the best tennis I've seen her play, losing a very close 3 set match to Lewis and Clark's Christine Eliazo in the quarters. It was a great match and came down to a few points that could have gone either way. Caroline's athleticism and competitive spirit shined through as she dug deep during long points and kept coming up with amazing gets and punishing finishing shots."
"Team captain Caroline Dreher and sophomore Victoria Bolshakova both started strong winning their first round matches. Our freshman Hannah Jeffries, Bayley Gochanour, and Taylor Stokes also battled hard from the start but came up short. However they all picked up some good wins in the consolation rounds. Both doubles teams Dreher/Jeffries and Bolshakova/Gochanour won their first round matches and and then lost in the 2nd round to strong teams."
In doubles, Dreher and Jeffries made their debut together, disposing of the University of Puget Sound's Jenna Alvarez and Mei Roen, 8-1, in the doubles main draw before stumbling to a team from Whitman in the second round.
"This weekend's tournament revealed this team's desire to compete hard and compete well. We have our work cut out for us, but this team is motivated to work hard to improve. I am really happy with way this young team played this weekend; they stepped up to the challenge, competed hard and with passion."
Assistant coach and head men's coach Matt Look echoed Wood's thoughts.
"It was a good start for us. I was eager to see them compete for the first time. The team is hungry to learn and we got a front row seat to see some of our conference rivals in action. Caroline can play with anyone in the conference. She will continue to grow and be a shining example for her teammates."
The Lutes return to the courts on Saturday, hosting Mills College in the first dual match of the season. The dual is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the Sprinker Recreation Center.