The No. 19 McPherson College Bulldogs looked to test its metal against the NAIA’s No. 3 Vanguard University Lions.
The first match of the Bulldogs Spring Break trip in California Saturday proved to be a tall order. It was a tough fought match as the Bulldogs showed they were no push-overs but went down 9-0 to the mighty Lions.
“Overall, I thought we played Vanguard University quite tough,” McPherson coach Jeff Benito said. “We didn’t execute well in doubles and I thought we had an opportunity to pick up points at second and third doubles. In singles we also had our opportunities, but they were just flat out better than us that day."
The Bulldogs had little time to rest after their first match and had to hit the road and wade through Los Angeles traffic to get to Pasadena and the California Institute of Technology, the site of their second match of the day.
The Bulldogs were physically tired and a little frustrated from their first match but were able to gather themselves to defeat Pacific Lutheran University 6-3.
“It’s always tough playing matches back-to-back, especially when we had to travel to the next one about an hour and a half away,” Benito said. “I was concerned about fatigue and focus especially since we as a team thought we could have done much better against Vanguard. However, we responded well and just took care of business.”
Doubles got off to a rocky start with both top doubles teams falling behind early. First doubles was not able to recover from an early break but lost a tough match 9-7. Second doubles came back from down 1-4 in their match to win a solid doubles game 8-6.
In singles, Keil-Long came through strong for the Bulldogs winning his match easily 6-2, 6-1 to put the ‘Dogs ahead 3-1.
The Lopes, however, were able to sneak a win at fourth singles against veteran Ronaldo Filho 6-2, 6-4.
Jordan Stewart had an exciting but tough match on his hands against Jake Yannello. Stewart played extremely well in the first set but looked to be fatigued in the second and lost 7-5, 6-3.
Mac College traveled to San Diego Monday to face Point Loma Nazarene University, falling 6-3. No further details were available.