Bulldogs slip past Tigers in tiebreaker


Fort Hays State Tennis fell to McPherson College on Tuesday afternoon (Apr. 5) by a score of 4-3. The Bulldogs won a pair of tight singles matches in tiebreaker sets to edge the Tigers by a team point, 4-3. FHSU is now 6-7 overall, while McPherson moved to 5-3 on the season.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the match by taking the doubles team point. The Bulldogs won two of the three doubles matches contested to pick up the point. McPherson won at the No. 2 and 3 positions, but the No. 1 FHSU team of Irina Alfonso and Maria Paz Diaz won 6-1.

Fort Hays State secured all three of their singles wins in straight sets. Alfonso won 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 1 position, Fiorella Mendez won 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 4 position, and Aliyah Frederick won 6-0, 6-2 at the No. 6 position. McPherson took only one of the singles matches in straight sets, that being at the No. 2 position, so it came down to the matches at No. 3 and No. 5 to determine the tight match between the teams.

McPherson came away with wins in both of those key singles matches, winning the tiebreak set 10-6 in both scenarios. Kylie Aufdengarten took the second set at the No. 5 position to pull even with Kayla Ortiz before falling in the tiebreak. Ortiz prevailed 6-1, 3-6, 10-6. Maria Paz Diaz held a one set lead at the No. 3 position after a 7-5 win. But, Grace Maxey rallied for a 6-3 second set win and then the 10-6 tiebreak win to give McPherson the match.

Gracen Friess played an exhibition contest against Sydney Hicks and won 8-5, while Heidi Lubbers played Hicks in an exhibition and lost 8-6.

The Tigers step back into MIAA play on the weekend when they host Emporia State and Newman. There was a schedule update as Friday’s match vs. Newman was postponed to Sunday (Apr. 10) at 1 pm due to forecasted winds for the Hays area. So the Tigers will host Emporia State first on Saturday starting at 2 pm.

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