The McPherson College tennis teams hosted Barton County Community College in an exhibition match on Monday at the McPherson High School tennis courts. For the Bulldog women it was their second match of the season, though it was their first in nearly a month, but for the men, it was their first competition of the spring. The spring season for college tennis is all about two teams squaring off against each other in a dual, consisting of nine matches, three doubles and six singles.
The first team to win five total matches wins the dual. Doubles matches consist of one set to eight games, while singles matches are best two of three six game sets. On Monday, both Bulldog teams trailed the Cougars 2-1 after the doubles portion of the dual. The Bulldog women only have five team members so they are only able to field two doubles team forcing them to forfeit the No.3 line. On the women's side, the Bulldogs and Cougars split the two matches that were played. The No.1 team of Brittany Zipf and Erica Paradise won their match 8-5, but No.2 team of Besa Bwalya and Zoe Bouwmeester dropped and 3-8 decision. For the Bulldog men, their lone doubles win also came on the No.1 line. Julien Bodin and teammate Jacob Turley dominated their match, winning 8-1. The No.2 team of Juan Alejandro Jimenez and Nicholas Wahl and the No.3 team of Rick Sakamoto and Jakob Komel both fell to the Cougars by a score of 3-8. In singles, the Bulldog women won three of the five matches played. The wins came from Zipf at No.1 6-4, 5-7, 10-8, Bouwmeester at No.4 6-3, 6-2, and Sydney Hicks at No.5 6-1, 6-3. For Hicks, it was her first collegiate win. Unfortunately, Paradise dropped her match at No.2 0-6, 1-6, Bwalya was defeated at No.3, 2 and 1, and they were forced to forfeit the match at No.6, which meant they ultimately lost the dual 5-4.
On the men's side, the Bulldogs were unable to find their form against the Cougars in singles. They won just one of the six matches played, that coming from Bodin at No.3, 6-3, 2-6, 10-2. All of the other matches were very competitive, three of the five decided in a third set tiebreaker. Jimenez fell at No.1, 1 and 4. At No.2, Turley lost in three sets, 2-6, 7-5, 7-10. Wahl's match also went the three sets, with the Bulldogs' No.4 falling 4-6, 6-2, 7-10.
In the match at No.5, Sakamoto lost two close sets 3-6, 4-6, while at No.6, James Lee dropped the first set 4-6, came back to blank his opponent in the second set 6-0, but lost the third set tie-breaker 8-10. Bulldog first year head coach, Rafael Bulnes, commented on the Bulldogs' performance saying: "The guys played very tough today and we lost some close matches. Our No.1 doubles is playing at a very high level. Barton is a good team, and I think we played well for our first match. The ladies played good tennis and just fell short. The team is getting better every match, and It was really cool to see Sydney get her first college win. Now it's time to get back to work."
Next up for the Bulldogs is a Spring Break trip next week to Georgia. The Bulldogs will play three matches in the middle of next week against Middle Georgia State, Georgia Gwinnett College, and Point University.