Great weekend for Mac College netters

By Josh Schroeder, McPherson College SID
September 25, 2017
McPherson College Sports Information-file

MAIZE —  The McPherson College tennis tandem of Ahmed Lahlou and Hector Carrillo Perales captured the men's doubles title, while three other Bulldog entries advanced to the finals Sunday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central-West/Southwest Regional Championships presented by Oracle at Maize South High School.

Lahlou and Carrillo now advance to the 2017 ITA Oracle Cup, slated for Oct. 11-15 at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Ga., where they will face other NAIA regional champions. If they win that tournament, they will have the unique opportunity to compete against the ITA national champions representing NCAA Division II and III and Junior/Community colleges to become the overall small-college champion.

• Men's Doubles •

Lahlou and Carrillo, the No. 2 seeds, defeated unseeded McPherson teammates Jacob Turley and Andreas Huber in Sunday's final by a 6-2, 6-2 score.

En route to the final, Huber and Turley upset the No. 1 and No. 9 seeded teams in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals before topping Midland's Sasha Borel and Jack Fryer in the semifinals. Lahlou and Carrillo's route to the finals included an 8-4 win over the seventh-seeded team of Michael Moody and Felix Diaz from Kansas Wesleyan in the quarterfinals and a win over the third-seeded team of Karlo Skvorc and Ronald Rufyikiri of Ottawa in the semis.

The title is the fourth straight for a McPherson doubles tandem and the second straight for Carrillo, who paired with Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez for the 2016 title.

• Men's Singles •

Three Bulldogs — Lahlou, Turley and Juan Alejandro Jimenez — advanced to the semifinals in the ITA singles draw. Lahlou, the top seed in the draw, reached the Final Four with wins over Juan Camillo Mira Rua of University of the Southwest and ninth-seeded Gavin Beach of Texas A&M-Texarkana on Saturday before falling to Jimenez, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5), in one of Sunday's semifinals.

Jimenez topped fifth-seeded Skvorc in straight sets before dispatching fourth-seeded Alejandro Oviedo of Texas A&M-Texarkana in a marathon three-set match in the quarterfinals. An unseeded Turley was the third Bulldog in the semis, advancing with a win over 11th-seeded Teodor Antelj of Bethany in the quarters before falling to second-seeded Cole Guy of Texas A&M-Texarkana, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, in the other semifinal.

In the final, Jimenez was defeated by Guy by a 6-1, 6-1 score.

Carrillo, who was seeded sixth, and unseeded Julien Bodin were eliminated in the Round of 16 on Saturday morning.

• Women's Singles •

Mac’s Brittany Zipf, the No. 3 seed, posted straight-set victories over College of Saint Mary's Katie Golka and No. 11-seeded Wendy French of Texas A&M-Texarkana on Saturday to advance to the semifinals. 

On Sunday, she survived a three-set match with second-seeded Kelsey Brown of Hastings, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2, before falling to Jessica Emoto of Tabor, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-3, in the final in a rematch of the 2016 ITA regional final. With the victory, Emoto became a three-time regional champion.

Ninth-seeded Besa Bwalya was eliminated from the main draw with a 6-3, 6-3 loss in the Round of 16.

After bowing out of the main draw Friday, Zoë Bouwmeester posted a trio of victories Saturday in the consolation draw. She advanced all the way to the final, which was not contested due to time constraints.

• Women's Doubles •

Zipf and Bwalya, the top seeds in the ITA women's doubles draw, advanced to the semifinals with a pair of 8-2 victories before falling to the fifth-seeded tandem of French and Daejia Lynch of Texas A&M-Texarkana in a 9-7 score.