By Marcus Fernandes
The McPherson women’s and men’s tennis team were in Rome, Ga. son Oct. 17-20 for the Oracle Cup, a National Championship Tournament. The Bulldogs were represented by Brittany Zipf (senior), playing singles, and also playing doubles with Erica Paradise (sophomore) for the women’s team. The men’s team had Jacob Turley (junior) and Martin Millos (freshman) playing doubles. The squad secured its appearance in the national tournament after a brilliant performance at the Intercollegiate Tournament Association regional tournament played in Wichita, Kan. Playing in the championship against high level opponents, the Bulldogs were not able to repeat previous brilliant performances. Though the players did not have a long run in the tournament, they worked hard, enjoyed their moment on the courts, took advantage of playing at a different level and certainly learned valuable lessons to use the next time they compete. Head coach Rafael Bulnes was really satisfied with his players’ performances. Bulnes said: “I am really happy. I think we played really well. It is a very tough tournament, where you compete just against the best teams. My ladies’ doubles team did well, my men’s doubles team did well and my women’s singles player also did a good job.” Coach Bulnes also believed that the Bulldogs were missing a bit of luck when the men’s doubles ended up playing the best team right at the beginning of the tournament. “I feel we had chances with all of our players. It was just a matter of momentum to go in your favor. In addition, the way we serve and return balls. These little details count at the end,” Coach Bulnes said, addressing some of the reasons why the Bulldogs did not go further in the National Championship Tournament. Moving forward, Bulnes thinks the National Tournament is a trip that everybody enjoys, and the secrets to being in the competition more often are taking one step at a time, not running ahead of yourself and working at a slow pace.