3 Bulldog netters earn high honors

By Josh Schroeder, McPherson College SID
June 09, 2017

McPherson College tennis players Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez, Hector Carrillo Perales  and Brittany Zipf have been named NAIA All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the organization announced Thursday.

Fajula Rodriguez earned recognition in both singles and doubles, Carrillo earned placement on the list for his doubles play and Zipf was honored for her play in singles.

To receive ITA NAIA All-America honors, a player must finish in the Top 20 in the final ITA singles rankings or Top 10 in the final ITA doubles rankings.

Fajula Rodriguez, a senior, earned ITA All-America honors for the third straight year after finishing the season ranked 18th in singles and eighth in doubles (with Carrillo) in the Oracle/ITA NAIA Men's National Rankings. This is the second year he has qualified for the list in both singles and doubles. He also made the list in 2015 based on his singles play. He earned NAIA All-America second-team honors this season after being honorable mention in 2014 and 2015. He posted a 24-11 mark this season, including 9-4 in singles and 7-3 at the No.1 position in duals. Fajula Rodriguez was named the KCAC Player of the Year after leading the Bulldog men to an 11-4 record overall and a perfect 8-0 mark in KCAC play.

Carrillo Perales, a junior, picked up his second ITA All-America honor. In doubles play, he paired with Fajula Rodriguez to go 15-7 with an ITA regional title and a sixth-place finish in the NAIA doubles competition at the ITA Oracle Cup last fall. The pair went 8-4 at the top doubles position in duals. Carrillo also won his lone doubles match with Paul Weidinger as a partner and posted a team-best 19-5 mark in singles, primarily at the No. 2 and No.3 spots. He also won the No. 1 flight singles title at the KCAC individual championships in the fall. 

McPherson swept the KCAC regular-season and tournament titles to advance to the NAIA Men's Tennis Championship where it dropped a 5-4 first-round decision to San Diego Christian.

Zipf, a freshman, posted a 30-9 mark overall for the Bulldog women in 2016-17. She went 16-4 in singles, including 9-2 at the No. 1 spot and 5-1 in KCAC duals, to finish the season ranked 14th in the Oracle/ITA NAIA women's singles national rankings. She was 7-2 in tournament play with a runner-up finish at the ITA regional and a No. 1 flight singles title at the KCAC individual championships in the fall.

She paired with Besa Bwalya for a 14-5 mark in doubles, including a 9-3 mark at the top spot and a 6-0 record in regular-season KCAC duals. The Bulldog women went 9-3 overall, winning the KCAC regular-season and tournament titles before losing to the University of Mobile (Ala.), 5-4, in the first round of the NAIA Women's Tennis Championship last week.

The only other KCAC player on the list was Tabor's Jessica Emoto — the KCAC Women's Player of the Year —  who finished the year ranked one spot ahead of Zipf at No. 13.