Mac College net duo qualifies for prestigious tourney

By Steve Sell
September 23, 2014
McPherson College Sports Information

LINCOLN, Neb. — The first important meet of the McPherson College fall tennis season resulted in two Bulldogs earning the right to play in the highly acclaimed ITA Championships.

At this weekend’s ITA Central Regional, the Bulldogs’ doubles team of Rafael Bulnes and Joan-Marc Rodriguez stormed to the championship, including a 6-4, 6-2 victory in the finals.

Bulnes was just as impressive in singles, winning the championship with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

"It's great to see players accomplish a goal this early in the season," new McPherson coach Justin Stuckey said.  "Rafa was truly on a mission to win this tournament and put himself in position to win in singles, and doubles with his partner Joan-Marc. Joan-Marc also was very focused this weekend and played exceptionally well in all of his doubles matches.”

The two will head to the 2014 USTA-ITA National Small College Championships on Oct. 9-12 in Sumter, S.C., where they will face the other regional winners.  This is the first time in McPherson College history that the Bulldogs have had a representative at the ITA Championships.

They also have an opportunity that if they win that tournament to play in another tournament that will have the national champion of NCAA Division-III, D-II and Juco for singles and doubles to become the overall champion of small colleges.

"It was a great day to be a Bulldog, I was very pleased with all the players this weekend on the men's and women's teams," Stuckey said. "They all worked hard in practices leading up to the tournament and in every match, both singles and doubles, fought to the last point which, for this being our first opportunity for completion, is all I ask for. We will take what happened this weekend and build on it for the KCAC tournament.”

The Bulldogs play Friday and Saturday in the KCAC Individual Championships in Winfield.