The Bethany College men's tennis team got off to a quick start against Westmont College at the NAIA Men's Tennis National Tournament. However, it was not enough to hold off the 14 seed as Westmont came storming back to win 5-4, and to end the season for Bethany.
Manuel Raga and Juan Mateus started things off with a thumping of the Westmont No. one doubles team. They took the point by an 8-2 score.
The Warriors came back to win No. two doubles, but Bethany reclaimed the lead with an 8-6 win by Conrad Mascarenhas and Guillermo Caro at No. three doubles.
Raga continued his strong play by knocking off Carl-Philip Lindqvis, who is ranked 12th in the country as a singles player, by a score of 6-2, 6-3.
Westmont tied it at two points apiece with a win at No. three singles, but the Swedes bounced back with a 6-2, 6-0 win by Guillermo Caro at No. six singles.
Bethany dropped the final three singles points with one having to go to medical time after players nearly fainted because of the heat.
"We played some real solid doubles to take a 2-1 lead going into singles. Raga and Juan made quick work of the Westmont No. one team to start us and get us on the right track. We got down a break early at No. two and couldn't get back into the match. Conrad and Caro led the entire way and finished it off by breaking serve at love," said head coach Tony Swiantek. "Manny dismantled the No. 12 player in the nation to solidify his ranking among the top 3-5 players in the country. Caro found his rhythm and won a quick one as well. We couldn't quite reach the top of the mountain to find the last point, but our guys fought in some brutal hot and humid conditions to represent the Swedes well here in Mobile."
Bethany finishes the season with a 13-4 record. They were 8-0 in the KCAC to win their 13th straight regular season championship.
Bethany's losses came to (16) Cardinal Stritch, (18) Olivet Nazarene, (20) McPherson less than a week after beating the Bulldogs when they were ranked 12th, and now (14) Westmont. Raga finished the season at 14-0 in the No. one singles spot.