SALINA — McPherson College’s men’s tennis team, expected to be a national power this season, rolled past Baker 8-1 in its season-opening match Saturday.
In doubles, the Bulldogs’ top duo of Rafael Bulnes and Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez were relentless and too quick for their Baker counterparts taking the match quickly 8-0. The No. 3 duo of juniors Jordan Stewart and Allen Darmawan stayed steady and cruised to an easy 8-4 victory giving McPherson a 2-0 lead. Number 2 doubles featured a brand-new pairing for the 'Dogs in freshman Gianluca Coria and senior Sean De Young. The pair found themselves in a hole quickly, but battled back to tie the score at 6-6. Baker was able to regroup and take the last two games and the set with an 8-6 victory.
In singles with the score at 2-1 in favor of MC, Bulnes got McPherson its next point and it was all Bulldogs from there; Bulnes took his match 6-2, 6-3 and was quickly followed by his teammates. James Roman, at the No. 4 position, made quick work of his opponent and was followed by fellow transfer Darmawan at No. 3. Freshman Fajula Rodriguez won nine games in a row before surrendering a game but took his match 6-0, 6-3, not giving up more than three games on the day off his racquet. De Young rebounded from his disappointment in doubles with a resounding 6-0, 6-0 win at the No. 5 position. Finally, junior Michael Irwin had the toughest match of the day playing close with his opponent in the first set before finally breaking him late and taking the first set 7-5 then cruising in the second set 6-1 giving the Bulldogs a sweep of the singles matches.
Mac goes to Hastings on Saturday.
Final Score: McPherson College 8, Baker University 1
1) Rafael Bulnes (Mac) def. Michael Draper (BU) 6-2, 6-3
2) Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) def. Gavin Webster (BU) 6-0, 6-3
3) Allen Darmawan (Mac) def. Aaron Greenbaum (BU) 6-3, 6-0
4) Jaime Roman (Mac) def. Ryan Gleue (BU) 6-1, 6-1
5) Sean De Young (Mac) def. Dylan Geich (BU) 6-0, 6-0
6) Michael Irwin (Mac) def. Theo Nichols (BU) 7-5, 6-1
Order of finish: 1, 4, 3*, 2, 5, 6
1) Bulnes/Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) def. Draper/Webster (BU) 8-0
2) Greenbaum/Nichols (BU) def. Coria/De Young (Mac) 8-6
3) Darmawan/Stewart (Mac) def. Gleue/Geich (BU) 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2