WICHITA — McPherson College’s women’s tennis team is bound for nationals.
The Bulldogs, who have turned their program around 180 degrees in just a couple of years under coach Jeff Benito, knocked off Kansas Wesleyan 5-0 in Saturday’s KCAC Tournament semifinals and then polished off Bethel College 5-1 in the championship match to punch their ticket to Mobile, Ala., for the NAIA national tournament that begins May 13.
“I am so impressed with these young ladies," Benito said. "They made me extremely proud today with how they handled themselves. We shook off the jitters from our early match and came out very determined against Bethel. The Threshers didn't make it easy on us though, they made us earn it. The last remaining matches before Brittany Gourlay clinched were going the distance, but I'm glad that we were able to shore it up. I am extremely proud of how we swept all of our doubles matches today, especially with Chandler Short and Kara Wright. They both showed that they wanted it more than either of the teams they faced today. What an amazing accomplishment for this team and these incredible young ladies.”
The Bulldogs blew by Kansas Wesleyan, as it was 3-0 after doubles and then Mac won the first two singles matches, which ended the dual.
Bethel, which defeated Ottawa 5-0 in the other semi and had lost to Mac 7-2 during the regular season, did manage to win one match. The Bulldogs’ dominance in doubles, though, shot them out to a 3-0 lead. Gourley eventually clinched the national trip with her singles victory.
McPherson College 5, Kansas Wesleyan University 0
1) Emma Sheehan (Mac) def. Maria Rodriguez (KWU) 6-0, 6-1
2) Nikki Vorhees (Mac) vs. Sydney Reese (KWU) DNP
3) Brooke Vorhees (Mac) def. Cassidy Cook (KWU) 3-0, Ret.
4) Brittany Gourlay (Mac) vs. Chelsea Ebenkemp (KWU) DNP
5) Claire Crossman (Mac) vs. Vallerie Zuaznabar (KWU) DNP
6) Kara Wright (Mac) vs. Rachael Husch (KWU) DNP
1) B. Vorhees/N. Vorhees (Mac) def. Cook/Ebenkemp (KWU) 8-5
2) Sheehan/Gourlay (Mac) def. Zuaznabar/Rodriguez (KWU) 8-4
3) Chandler Short/Wright (Mac) def. Husch/Reese (KWU) 9-8
McPherson College 5, Bethel College 1
1) Emma Sheehan (Mac) vs. Bree Honer (BC) DNF
2) Steph Shogren (BC) def. Nikki Vorhees (Mac) 6-3, 0-6, 6-2
3) Brooke Vorhees (Mac) def. Allie Hipp (BC) 6-0, 6-1
4) Brittany Gourlay (Mac) def. Madelyn Weaver (BC) 6-2, 6-4
5) Claire Crossman (Mac) vs. Ashley Suhr (BC) DNF
6) Chandler Short (Mac) vs. Alyssa Scheverman (BC) DNF
1) B. Vorhees/N. Vorhees (Mac) def. Honer/S. Shogren (BC) 8-3
2) Sheehan/Gourlay (Mac) def. Hipp/Weaver (BC) 8-2
3) Kara Wright/Short (Mac) def. R. Shogren/Scheverman (BC) 8-5