SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth will officially open the 2019 men's tennis schedule this weekend with a pair of non-conference contests. The Pirates will play at NAIA Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho) on Friday at 4:00 pm. Then the Bucs host the Community Colleges of Spokane in a non-counting exhibition match on Saturday at 11:00 am.
Head coach Mike Shanks is in his 20th season leading the Pirates. Whitworth is coming off a 4-14 season in 2018 in which they went 4-4 in the Northwest Conference and almost qualified for the conference tournament.
The Pirates return several key contributors from last season, led by twin brothers Jake and Ben Bethards, who are both juniors. Jake played the majority of his matches at #1 on the ladder in 2018 and finished 3-15 overall. Ben went 5-13, mostly at #3 on the singles ladder.
Sophomore Kincaid Norris went 7-11 in singles play as a freshman, the best individual record on the roster. He spent most of the season playing at #4 on the ladder.
Nick Hughes is the only senior on Whitworth's roster. He finished 5-13 in 2018 playing #6 singles.
As always, the doubles teams will be a work-in-progress as Shanks figures out his best combinations of players.
After this weekend's matches Whitworth will play a pair on non-conference matches at NWC-members Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound on Feb. 16-17.