Men’s Tennis Suffers Upset

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 15th, 2014


IMG_0188Westmont (14-7), the seventh ranked team in the NAIA, was upset 5-3 in the second round of the NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championships on Thursday morning by #10 Bethany of Kansas (21-2).

“It was definitely the most upsetting national tournament loss that I have been a part of,” acknowledge Westmont head coach Mark Basham. “It is really the first time I felt that we have been upset by a team we should have beaten.”

The matched started well for the Warriors. Tim Goranson and John Bertram won at number two doubles 8-1, defeating Michiel Van Den Bogart and Amir Rahbar. On the number one court, Rodrigo Schaefer and Josh Barnard led Manuel Raga and Edgardo Tapia 7-4 while at number three, Nick Szyndlar and Travis Kimsey held the same lead over Mensford Owusu and Aaron Moses.

However, Bethany forced both the number one and three doubles matches to tiebreakers and prevailed in both.

“With the leads that we got off to in doubles, I was projecting (that we would be up) 3-0,” said Basham. “Being up two breaks on both one and three and not to capitalize on at the very least one of those was a shocker for our team.”

Down 2-1 going into singles, the Warriors would need to win four of the six singles matches to advance to the semifinals. That uphill climb was made steeper when Szyndlar lost to Moses 6-0, 6-1 on the number six court.

The Warriors tied the match at three with wins on the number five and the number one courts. Kimsey notched a 6-1, 6-4 win over Rahbar at five and Goranson won at number one, defeating Raga 6-2, 6-1.

“Tim was so eager to play,” said Basham. “He and John dominated doubles like we know they can. Tim stayed the course (in singles). He has been a great competitor the last few years, so kudos to him. He finishes his career on a great note.”

Unfortunately, those were the last wins the Warriors would get. Bogart defeated Barnard at number four singles 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to put Bethany up 4-3. The decisive fifth win came at number three where Owusu defeated Bertram 6-4, 7-5. The match on number two was left unfinished at one set apiece. Schaefer won the first set 6-4 and Tapia took the second by the same score.

“I am really sorry for the seniors,” said Basham. “I thought that with our leadership and experience that it would have been favorable for us this year.”

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