WICHITA, Kan. -- The Bethany College men's tennis team held of a scrappy McPherson Bulldogs squad to win the KCAC Tournament held in Wichita. The Swedes downed the Friends Falcons earlier in the day, 5-1, before edging McPherson 5-3. Earlier in the week, Monday, April 21, the Swedes knocked off the Bulldogs 9-0 to complete an undefeated regular season in KCAC play and bring home the regular season championship.
Friends came out to start the tournament and played great doubles competition at the No. one spot. The Swedes depth showed in the first match and carried Bethany into the finals. The first match scores were:
Doubles: 1. Mensford Owusu and Aaron Moses, Jr. LOST 5-8
2. Amir Rahbar and Michiel Van Den Bogaert WON 8-2
3. Tucker Clary and Manuel Raga WON 8-0
Singles: 1. Raga WON 6-3, 6-0
2. Owusu LED 4-6, 6-4, 3-0
3. Van Den Bogaert WON 6-2, 6-1
4. Rahbar LED 6-2, 2-1
5. Andreas Brune WON 6-1, 6-0
6. David Barbieri WON 6-1, 6-0
McPherson advanced to the finals with a 5-4 win over Bethel College. The win gave the Bulldogs confidence to give the Swedes all they could handle. Bethany took an early 2-1 advantage after the doubles competition. The Swedes lost the No. two doubles match in a heartbreaker, 8-9 (8-10). The Bulldogs took points in the top two singles spots, but lost in the 3-5 spots as the Swedes won the match. Like the first match, Bethany's depth was a key to the victory as they won the No. three doubles and the bottom portion of the singles spots. The second match results were:
Head Coach Vic Bateman was pleased with the display of sportsmanship and honesty between the two rival schools. "Despite the rivalry being extremely intense at times, I thought both schools played hard and were respectful toward each other." A point that Bateman pointed to specifically happened in the No. four singles match. A ball rolled across the court in front of the Bulldogs Sean De Young. De Young turned down a let call from the official and gave the point to the Swedes, saying the play was not hindered by the errant ball from another court.
"What made that more impressive was that it occurred with the teams tied at three points in the match and at 5-4 in the second set. That was what the NAIA is supposed to be all about," said Bateman.
Doubles: 1. Raga and Edgardo Tapia WON 8-5
2. Owusu and Moses, Jr. LOST 8-9 (8-10)
3. Rahbar and Van Den Bogaert WON 8-3
Singles: 1. Raga LOST 0-6, 6-7 (2-7)
2. Tapia LOST 6-4, 5-7, 3-6
3. Owusu WON 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
4. Van Den Bogaert WON 6-0, 6-4
5. Rahbar WON 6-2, 6-1
6. Moses, Jr. LED 6-2, Unf.