TACOMA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers will head back to the Northwest Conference tournament to defend their championship on the heels of their third-straight double-digit NWC win season. The Pios swept the singles matches to conclude the regular season with a 7-2 win over the Puget Sound Loggers on Saturday afternoon at the Tennis Pavilion.
Chloe Sermet and Tash Hood had decisive victories in the bottom pair of singles matches. Sermet won 6-1, 6-1 over Fagg in the fifth spot to finish 7-1 in NWC matches this season. At No. 6, Hood won 6-0, 6-0 against Bild for a 7-3 mark this year.
Wiktoria Plawska improved to 6-4 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Lisa Owen in the top singles pairing. Christine Eliazo completed her third regular season with only one career loss after a 6-0, 6-4 win over Nicole Bouche at No. 2.
Natalie Kelly and Glenna Gee-Taylor rounded out the singles victories for the Pios. Kelly won 6-4, 6-3 over Elizabeth Chao at No. 3, while Gee-Taylor took down Bridget Myers, 6-2, 6-3, in the fourth spot. Kelly is now 5-0 and Gee-Taylor bumped up to 4-1 this year.
Bouche and Owen defeated Eliazo and Plawska, 8-7 (7-5), in No. 1 doubles, while Chao and Myers beat Kelly and Gee-Taylor, 8-4, at No. 2.
Through Saturday's matches, Linfield and Whitman are tied for the NWC lead with seven championship points each, although Linfield has won the head-to-head meetings with Whitman this year and plays Pacific on Sunday. With a win, Linfield will finish with eight championship points.
The NWC tournament will be hosted by Linfield starting next Saturday. Lewis & Clark will be the No. 3 seed and will face No. 2 Whitman in the semifinals. George Fox enters as the No. 4 seed. Last year, the Pioneers defeated Whitman, 5-2, in the championship match to win their first conference title since 1979.