MOBILE ALA.—The McPherson College men's and women's tennis teams saw its seasons end on Tuesday in the first round of the NAIA National Tennis Championships. Both Bulldog programs were defeated by identical 8-1 scores, with the women falling to the Cardinal Stritch University (Wisc.) Wolves, and the men upended by another group of Bulldogs from Tennessee Wesleyan University.
The Bulldog men played the morning match, taking the court against Tennessee Wesleyan at 8:30 a.m. The team trailed TWU 2-1 after the doubles portion of the dual with Jacob Turley and Julien Bodin falling at No. 1, 8-4, and Juan Jimenez and Jakob Komel dropping their match at No. 3, 8-2. The lone doubles win came from Nicolas Wahl and Rick Sakamoto at No. 2, 9-7.
In singles, Tennessee Wesleyan won all six matches, five of them in straight sets. Turley fell at No. 1, 6-1, 6-4; Jimenez was defeated at No. 2, 6-2, 7-5; Bodin's match at No. 3 went three sets 0-6, 6-3, 8-10. Wahl lost a close decision at No. 4, 6-3, 7-6; while Sakamoto struggled to get things going on the No. 5 line, dropping his match 6-0, 6-1. At No. 6, Komel was defeated 6-3, 6-1.
For the Mac guys, Tuesday's loss was their first since Mar. 28th. They finish the season with an 11-7 record overall, and an 8-1 mark in KCAC matches. The Bulldogs will have five of their top six returning to the court next fall. Juan Jimenez is the only player in the national's lineup that will run out of eligibility after this season.
The Bulldog women took the court for the afternoon session, starting at 1:30 p.m. With only five players on the roster, the Bulldog women opened the match already trailing the wolves 2-0, forfeiting the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles lines. The deficit increased to 4-0 as the Bulldogs dropped the other two doubles matches as well. Brittany Zipf, and Erica Paradise fell at No. 1, 8-6, and Besa Bwalya and Zoë Bouwmeester were upended at No. 2, 8-0.
In singles, the Bulldogs picked up their lone point from Zipf, who extended her singles winning streak to 11 matches in a row with a 6-3, 6-3 win on the No. 1 line. At No. 2, Paradise fell 6-3, 6-1 while Bwalya lost a close match at No. 3, 6-3, 6-2. On the four line, Bouwmeester dropped her match 6-2, 6-0 and at No. 5, Sydney Hicks was defeated 6-0, 6-0.
The Bulldogs close out the season at 10-7 overall, and 7-1 in KCAC matches. The team will have a couple of big holes to fill next year as they will lose the middle of their lineup to graduation. Bouwmeester is set to graduate on Sunday, and Bwalya, a junior, will graduate a semester early next December.