The Bethel College women's tennis team sent a statement to the rest of the conference with a 9-0 win over Kansas Wesleyan Wednesday afternoon in a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference dual meet at the Marty Ward Tennis Courts on the BC campus. The Thresher men also downed Wesleyan 9-0 to end KCAC play. The Thresher women finish dual meet play 12-3, 7-0 in KCAC meets. The Threshers won 61 of 63 matches in conference play this year. Wesleyan finishes in second place in the conference at 6-1, 10-5 overall. It was the first conference title for any Bethel team this season. The Bethel men end the regular season 11-4, 5-2 in conference play. Wesleyan falls to 7-7, 3-4 in conference play. "We dropped two matches all year, so we dominated as a team," Bethel coach Lonnie Isaac said. "It was a good win today. We wanted to send a message that we were ready for a match like this. They were 6-0, so our players were a little nervous, especially with the timing of this being the last match of the year. We need to see how our players would react in a match that would create stress for them. We played well at all of the slots. We're eager to win the conference tournament and get back to nationals." The win was Bethel's fourth straight conference regular-season title. Bethel has won 35 straight conference dual meets. Bethel faces fourth seeded Southwestern at 9 a.m. May 2 at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita at the KCAC post-season team tournament. Bethany and KWU will play in the other semifinal. The winner earns an automatic berth in the NAIA National Championships. The Bethel men complete a turnaround that saw them finish 3-12 last season and miss the KCAC post-season tournament. "It was a big, big turnaround," Isaac said. "We had some new players come in this year and increase our depth. We had a very solid win today. KW is not a bad team." Bethel knocked KWU out of the post-season tournament and will face second-seeded and 18th-ranked (NAIA) McPherson in the semifinals May 3 at the Riverside Tennis Center. Sixth-ranked Bethany, which finished unbeaten in conference play, will take on fourth-seeded Tabor. The winners meet in the finals, with a trip to nationals at stake. "Even though Mac beat us 8-1 and Bethany beat us 9-0, we had several three-setters against Mac," Isaac said. "We lost some super tie-breakers. We had two three-setters against Bethany and some close doubles matches. It would have to be a perfect day for us, and they would have to struggle a little, but we're going in with the attitude that we can compete with those teams." Both the Bethel men and women play Saturday at the KCAC Individual Championships in Salina. "That's flighted," Isaac said. "That's just about individuals fine-tuning their game. It's just kind of a fun day. We'll be trying to win those flights. We need a good week of practice next week. We're looking forward to a great week and a half."
WOMEN Bethel 9, Kansas Wesleyan 0 SINGLES — Bree Honer B def. Janel Prather KW 6-3, 6-1; Miranda Weaver B def. Jeni Wolters KW 6-4, 6-2; Ashley Koester B def. Tia Irwin KW 6-4, 6-3; Steph Shogren def. Holly Eastwood KW 6-0, 6-0; Allie Hipp B def. Valarie Zuanzabar KW 6-1, 6-0; Madelyn Weaver B def. Mariea Rodriques KW 6-0, 6-4. DOUBLES — Mi. Weaver-Shogren B def. Woltes-Irwin KW 8-2, Honer-Koester def. B Prather-Zuanzabar KW 8-5, Ma. Weaver-Hipp B def. Rodriques-Schrock KW 8-1. MEN Bethel 9, Kansas Wesleyan 0 SINGLES — Logan Palenske def. Alejandro Cassanova 6-0, 6-0; Clinton Chlumsky def. Fernando Soto 6-2, 6-3; Jesse Voth-Gaeddert def. Leonardo Mendez 6-4, 6-1; David Tedone def. Alex White 6-1, 6-1; Chris Soosalu def. Scott Webber 6-4, 6-2; Jenson Kingsley def. Adam Watson 6-1, 6-3. DOUBLES — Chlumsky-Voth-Gaeddert def. Casanova-Watson 8-1, Palenske-Tedone def. Soto-Mendez 8-4, Soosalu-Herelle def. Weber-White 9-7.