Bulldog netters ready for nationals

By Steve Sell
May 15, 2017

Don’t let the record fool you.

McPherson College’s men’s tennis team will have its hands full on Tuesday when it meets San Diego Christian College in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament at Mobile, Ala.

On paper, the Bulldogs would appear to be a clear favorite. They are 11-3 and ranked No. 21 in the country. This is their third straight trip to nationals.

San Diego Christian is just 6-10, but has the respect nationally as it’s ranked No. 13. It was 4-4 in a league that includes No. 8 Arizona Christian and No. 12 Westmont, which also are in the tourney field.

Georgia Gwinnett is the tourney favorite as it’s 19-0 and received every single first-place vote in the final national poll.

Meanwhile, the Mac women’s team will be a decided underdog in its 1:30 p.m. match Tuesday.

The Bulldogs are 9-2 and ranked No. 22, but go up against 22-4 and No. 11 ranked University of Mobile, which will have the home crowd on its side.

Mobile is no stranger to the national tournament, having qualified 11 previous times.

Mac also has some tournament history as this is its fourth straight appearance at nationals and is still looking for that elusive first victory.

Just as on the men’s side, Georgia Gwinnett is the favorite as it’s ranked No. 1 with a 21-0 record.

First-year coach and McPherson High grad Dustin Wheeler has kept both programs steaming along as the Mac men and women were both the regular-season and postseason tournament champion.