KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2014 NAIA Men's Tennis All-America teams this week. Honorees were selected by the NAIA All-America committee, with 16 student-athletes being named to both the first and second teams. Bethany College's Manuel Raga earned second-team honors, while teammate and doubles partner Edgardo Tapia was named honorable mention.
Raga, a sophomore from Maracay, Venezuela, finished the season with a 19-4 individual record and a 24-2 mark in doubles. He started the season with seven straight singles victories. He picked up wins against four Top 50 players in singles.
"Manuel has played better and better all year in singles and doubles with Edgardo, who was an All-American Honorable Mention," Bethany coach Vic Bateman said. "In doubles the two formed one of the top teams in the nation, culminating in them defeating the No. 2 nationally ranked team at NAIA Nationals, along with the No. 1 team from Auburn University Montgomery. Their desire for the team success over their own is what made both of them truly special players to coach."
In doubles, Raga and Tapia picked up wins against four Top 25 doubles opponents. The duo started the year by knocking of the then-18th ranked team for Seminole State College. They also beat the 13th ranked team in No. 1 doubles from McPherson College. At NAIA Nationals, Raga and Tapia beat the No. 2-ranked doubles team from Westmont College and the No. 25-ranked doubles from Auburn University Montgomery on the same day.
Tapia, a junior from Temuco, Chile, finished the season winning 11 of his 15 singles matches while he won 18 of his 20 doubles matches. Tapia won 10 straight doubles matches to start the season, and after back-to-back losses, he was back to his winning ways finishing the season with eight consecutive wins.
Bateman, Raga, Tapia and the Swedes will look to improve upon their national quarterfinal finish next season. Bethany finished the season with a 21-3 record, with two of its defeats coming against ranked NCAA Division II opponents.