A pair of Clark County products faced off Monday in the singles final of the USTA/ITA Women’s Tennis Small College Northwest Regional on Monday at Whitman College in Walla Walla.
Willamette University senior Natalia Agarycheva defeated Linfield College junior Abby Olbrich 7-5, 6-4
By winning the regional title, Prairie High School graduate Agarycheva qualified for the Small College National Championships sponsored by the U.S. Tennis Association and Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Nationals will be held Oct. 14-17 in Mobile, Ala.
Agarycheva also avenged a loss to Olbrich in the finals of the 2009 fall tournament.
“Natalia played very well this weekend,” Willamette coach Becky Roberts told willamette.edu/athletics. “Not only did Natalia play well, but I felt we played great as a team overall. We are excited for Natalia to participate in Nationals.”
Agarycheva, the No. 1 seed, reached the final round by defeating Alyssa Roberg of Whitman, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the semifinals earlier Monday.
Olbrich, a Skyview High School graduate, was the No. 2 seed in singles. Olbrich defeated No. 3 seed Rachel Burns of Whitworth 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals Monday.
In addition to winning the singles championship, Agarycheva also made it to the double semifinals with Fabi Dieguez. In the semifinals, Agarycheva and Dieguez fell to the top-seeded eventual champions, Roberg and Elise Otto of Whitman, 8-4.
Olbrich also combined with former Skyview teammate Sarah Click to finish second in the doubles.
Playing on their home courts, Otto and Roberg prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), advancing to nationals in Alabama.
“I was really excited by what I saw from everyone on the team,” Linfield coach Amy Dames Smith told linfield.edu/sports. “We have a good mix of experience and talent this year and if we continue to train hard, stay present and stay healthy, we’ll have a lot to look forward to with our spring season.”
At last fall’s tournament, Olbrich beat Agarycheva in three sets for the singles title and teamed with Sally Katter (now graduated) for the doubles crown. Otto, who was out of the country on a foreign study last fall, won the singles title two years ago and teamed with Katie Oost (now graduated) for the doubles title.
In Monday’s doubles final, Otto and Roberg bolted to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set and led 4-1 after staving off a break point on Roberg’s serve. Otto and Roberg held their next service games to polish off a 6-3 victory.
Neither side had much luck holding serve in a second set marked by six breaks. Linfield led 2-0 at the outset, but Whitman took five of the next seven games and had Otto serving for the match at 5-4.
Olbrich and Click refused to fold, turning back three match points for a service break that squared the match at 5-5.
After the score moved to 6-6, Otto and Roberg wasted no time taking charge of the tiebreaker.
Both players hit winners on the first two points to key a 4-0 Whitman start. The Linfield duo rallied to within 5-3 and saved a fourth match point before a long volley gave Whitman the tie-breaker (and the match) at 7-4.
“It was a good match and a good finish to a great tournament,” Whitman women’s coach John Hein told whitman.edu/content/athletics. “There were a lot of close matches.”
Bond gets sack for safety in NAU win
Northern Arizona junior defensive end Isaac Bond contributed a safety as the Lumberjacks opened Big Sky Conference play with a 32-7 road win over Idaho State.
The Skyview High School graduate, a second team All-Big Sky selection as a sophomore, sacked Bengals quarterback Russel Hill in the second quarter.
The play gave NAU a 10-0 lead. Bond had two solo tackles in the game.
The Lumberjacks (2-1) visit Southern Utah on Saturday, their third consecutive road game to open the season, before returning to Big Sky play Oct. 9 on the red turf at Eastern Washington.
GNAC honors Porter
Western Washington senior distance runner Sarah Porter was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference cross country women’s athlete of the week for Sept. 19-25.
The Hockinson High School graduate won the Saint Martin’s Invitational on Saturday in Lacey with a time of 21 minutes, 37 seconds, finishing the 6-kilometer course 50 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher and 1:52 ahead of the next collegiate runner.
It was the seventh time during Porter’s four-year career that she has won a regular-season meet.
The GNAC weekly honor was the fourth of Porter’s collegiate career. Porter is a two-time cross country All-American, placing second at NCAA Division II nationals as a junior and 13th as a sophomore.
This Saturday, Porter competes in the Greater Louisville Open at Louisville, Ky.
County women land four among Top 10
Four Clark County runners finished in the Top 10 in the women’s race at the Erik Anderson Memorial Invitational Cross Country Meet on Saturday at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley.
Prairie High School graduate Kelsey Klettke, a junior at Lewis-Clark State College, placed fifth in the 5-kilometer race in 18 minutes, 56 seconds.
Washington State’s Allison Clark and Sarah Bobbe, both freshmen from Columbia River High School, were sixth in 19:02 and seventh in 19:12, respectively.
Gonzaga sophomore Emily Thomas (Camas High School) was 10th in 19:23. Also, Spokane Falls Community College sophomore Rachel McDaniel (Battle Ground High School) was 44th in 21:07.
On the men’s side, WSU freshman Kyle Boe (Columbia River) was 15th in the 8-kilometer race in 26:34. Spokane Falls CC sophomore Nick Wilson (Columbia River) was 63rd in 28:55.
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