Epic dual ends in defeat for Lewis & Clark

Epic dual ends in defeat for Lewis & Clark

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- In a match-up of nationally-ranked opponents, the winning team came down to the final match's third set. Following Wiktoria Plawska's victory at No. 1 singles, Tash Hood lost in the third set of the dual-deciding match as the Lewis & Clark Pioneers fell 5-4 to the Whitman Blues on Sunday at Bratton Indoor Tennis Center.

After taking the first set 7-6 with a 7-5 tiebreaker, Hood lost the last two, 7-5, 6-2, to Lori Sheng in the No. 5 singles spot.

The pivotal match came after the dual moved to a 4-4 tie when Plawska won a top singles match that lasted more than three hours. Plawska defeated Andrea Gu, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, to improve to 4-4 in Northwest Conference singles matches this season.

Prior to singles, Hood and Plawska had already played a lengthier doubles match, losing to Sheng and Gu, 9-8.

The loss drops Lewis & Clark to 3-2 in the NWC. Last season, the Pios beat Whitman twice, including a 5-4 road win against the Blues that helped secure Lewis & Clark as the host for the NWC tournament on its way to winning the conference championship.

Whitman is now 9-0.

Josie Legarza and Kacey Incerpi defeated the nation's No. 21 combo, Mary Hill and Hanna Greenberg, 9-7, in the top doubles spot.

Natalie Kelly was efficient with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 6 over Jenna Gilbert. She also combined with Christine Eliazo for an 8-2 win over Allie Wallin and Gilbert in the No. 3 doubles spot. Plawska's match took so long that Kelly, who had to wait for two courts in the four-court venue to open up from the first four singles matches, was done before Plawska's match ended.

After taking two doubles matches and Kelly's singles match, the Pios had a 3-1 lead. In the No. 3 singles position, Eliazo lost 7-5, 6-3 to Wallin, which is Eliazo's first career loss in an NWC match. She entered the dual 24-0.

Incerpi lost 6-4, 6-3 to Greenberg at No. 4 for her first NWC loss of the season.

The weekend was the first for the Pioneers with only one match since the spring season began. Lewis & Clark plays at Willamette on Saturday before departing for a four-match trip to Ohio to play four nationally-ranked opponents.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Sunday

Pacific Lutheran 8, Willamette 1

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