NORTH NEWTON — McPherson College’s men’s tennis team handed Bethel College its first KCAC loss on Saturday, 7-2.
In doubles, the Bulldogs came out with a very strong start, but quickly saw the Threshers work their way back into the matches.
At No. 3 doubles, the duo of Michael Irwin and Connor Schafer won the first 10 points of their match to take an early lead, but Schafer's serve was broken late into the match and the duo fell 8-6 to give Bethel the first point of the match.
At No. 1 doubles, the Bulldogs’ top pair of Rafael Bulnes (Rosmalen, Netherlands) and Joan-Marc Fajula Rodriguez (Olot, Spain) saw themselves down early 4-1 in their match. Needing to dig deep, the duo worked their way back into the match and eventually overtook a very good doubles team from Bethel 8-6 and leveled the match 1-1.
At No. 2 doubles, the Threshers broke the serve of Sean De Young to take a commanding 7-4 lead. However, De Young led a furious comeback attempt and got himself and Jordan Stewart to 7-7. However, the Threshers held on to take the last two games, giving Bethel a 2-1 lead going into singles.
In singles, the Bulldogs met heavy resistance from the Threshers. Fajula fought off a very talented player in Clinton Chlumsky to even the match for the Bulldogs. Fajula was up 5-1 when Chlumsky fought all the way back to force a tie-breaker for the first set, but Fajula proved too tough and captured the first set. In the second set, Fajula had to come from behind to overtake his opponent 7-5 to win the match.
Bulnes found himself in a match against a determined opponent in Bethel's No. 1. Bulnes stayed head strong and used smart play to defeat his opponent 6-4, 6-3 to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 advantage. Senior Mark Mahan played the best match of his season as he had to push through and come from behind to earn his victory over Jesse Voth-Gaeddert 1-6, 7-6, 6-2.
Allen Darmawan got McPherson the team victory with his steady and gutsy play at No. 5 singles to defeat his opponent, 6-4, 6-3. He was followed by fellow junior Jaime Roman, who had little trouble with his opponent defeating him, 6-1, 6-2. De Young went the distance in his match falling in the first set but quickly changing game plans to take the second; in the third set it was all De Young as he established a quick lead and never once looked back, defeating his opponent and giving the Bulldogs a sweep of the singles matches.
"This was a very, very good team win for us," Mac coach Jeff Benito said. "The overall team energy was good and everyone was focused on the task at hand. I really liked the way the guys came together for this match victory and I'm very proud of my two seniors who gutted out some very good individual wins."
In the match against Hesston, the Bulldogs swept all three doubles matches and dropped only 12 games total in singles to defeat the Larks 9-0.
Up next for the Bulldogs is Kansas Wesleyan University on Tuesday at Salina.
McPherson College 7, Bethel College 2
1) Rafael Bulnes (Mac) def. Logan Palenske (BC) 6-4, 6-3
2) Joan-Marc Fajula (Mac) def. Clinton Chlumsky (BC) 7-6, 7-5
3) Mark Mahan (Mac) def. Jesse Voth-Gaeddert (BC) 2-6, 7-6, 6-2
4) Sean De Young (Mac) def. Chris Soosalu (BC) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
5) Allen Darmawan (Mac) def. Jensen Kingsley (BC) 6-4, 6-3
6) Jaime Roman (Mac) def. Davian Lightbourne (BC) 6-1, 6-2
1) Bulnes/Fajula (Mac) def. Chlumsky/Voth-Gaeddert (BC) 8-6
2) Palenske/Soosalu (BC) def. Jordan Stewart/De Young (Mac) 9-7
3) Brooks Taylor/Kingsley (BC) def. Michael Irwin/Connor Schafer (Mac) 8-6
McPherson College 9, Hesston College 0
1) Joan-Marc Fajula (Mac) def. Eric Cender (HC) 6-1, 6-1
2) Jaime Roman (Mac) def. Drew Hostetler (HC) 6-2, 6-2
3) Jordan Stewart (Mac) def. Yuu Sakaguchi (HC) 6-2, 6-0
4) Michael Irwin (Mac) def. Dominic Murray (HC) 6-0, 6-2
5) Connor Schafer (Mac) def. Kendrick Mast (HC) 6-0, 6-1
6) Gianluca Coria (Mac) def. Tyler Roth (HC) 6-1, 6-0
1) Bulnes/Fajula (Mac) def. Hostetler/Murray (HC) 8-2
2) Mark Mahan/Allen Darmawan (Mac) def. Cender/Sakaguchi (HC) 8-4
3) Irwin/Schafer (Mac) def. Mast/Roth (HC) 8-3