The McPherson College men's tennis team split its weekend matches with Emporia State and Barton County.
The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker against Emporia 5-4, but turned around and mauled Barton County, 9-0.
On Saturday against ESU, the change from playing indoors to outdoors may have taken a mental toll on the Bulldogs.
Mac could not get anything going in any of its doubles matches, finding itself trailing on all three doubles positions and just misfiring on routine execution plays.
The top duo of Rafael Bulnes and Joan Marc Fajula Rodriguez found themselves with a very disappointing early season loss, 8-1. Sean De Young and Allen Daramwan did not do any better as they fell quickly as well 8-2, giving Emporia State a 2-0 lead. The Hornets were looking to make it 3-0 as they had a huge lead against the Bulldogs’ No. 3 pair of Michael Irwin and Connor Schafer, 6-3. The Mac pair dug in though and fought all the way back to force the tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker the 'Dogs held a very slim lead until they were able to pull away at the end to salvage their point and keep the Bulldogs in the match, trailing 2-1.
With a 2-1 deficit after doubles, McPherson began to work quickly in singles. Freshman Fajula Rodriguez made up for his loss in doubles by not giving many opportunities to his opponent winning 6-1, 6-1. Bulnes did the same, gaining a quick first set victory 6-1 then overtaking his opponent late in the second set to secure the point for the Bulldogs 6-4, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. The Hornets would strike right back with a pair of victories of their own at the No. 3 and 4. De Young responded with a dominant win over his opponent to tie up the score at 4-4. The match came down to Irwin, but the junior lost a little focus in the first set dropping it 6-3 but rebounded quickly to grab the second set 6-2 to force a tiebreaker. In the match tiebreak, Irwin held a slim lead until his opponent was able to come from behind to snare the victory from the Bulldogs.
"This was a tough loss for us to a much-improved Emporia State team," Mac coach Jeff Benito said. "We competed well in singles, but our failing was in the doubles. We can learn from this and make the adjustments so that we won't make those errors again down the stretch. I am very impressed with Michael Irwin as he showed a lot of composure coming through for us in doubles and then almost pulling it out for us in singles."
On Sunday, the Bulldogs took out their frustrations against Barton County College. They stayed in control of all the matches except at the No. 1 singles position. The freshman Fajula Rodriguez stayed steady in the first set, but then suffered a point penalty to drop the second set. He stayed tough and cruised to a 10-4 victory in the third set tie-break.
Up next for the Bulldogs is Newman University Saturday at McPherson High School, weather permitting.
Emporia State 5, McPherson College 4
Rafael Bulnes (Mac) def. Diego Prudencio (ESU) 6-1, 6-4
Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) def. Jonathan Butran (ESU) 6-1, 6-1
Andrew Davids (ESU) def. Allen Darmawan (Mac) 6-4, 6-2
Keenan Smith (ESU) def. Jaime Roman (Mac) 6-0, 7-6 (1)
Sean De Young (Mac) def. Farhan Sadique (ESU) 6-0, 6-1
Payton Hays (ESU) def. Michael Irwin (Mac) 6-3, 2-6, 10-8
Davids/Butron (ESU) def. Bulnes/Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) 8-1
Prudencio/Smith (ESU) def. De Young/Darmawan (Mac) 8-2
Irwin/Schafer (Mac) def. Hays/Connor (ESU) 9-8 (5)
McPherson College 9, Barton County Community College 0
Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) def. Alvaro Martinez (BCCC) 6-3, 4-6, 10-4
Sean De Young (Mac) def. Jeret Johnson (BCCC) 6-4, 6-2
Allen Darmawan (Mac) def. Nicholas Moyers (BCCC) 6-0, 6-2
Jaime Roman (Mac) def. Austin Jacobs (BCCC) 6-3, 6-0
Michael Irwin (Mac) def. Chase Buntain (BCCC) 6-0, 6-0
Jordan Stewart (Mac) def. Adam Neeland (BCCC) 6-4, 6-0
Bulnes/Fajula Rodriguez (Mac) def. Martinez/Johnson (BCCC) 8-6
Irwin/Schafer (Mac) def. Jacobs/Moyers (BCCC) 8-4
De Young/Stewart (Mac) def. Bhntain/Neeland (BCCC) 8-2