The CCC men's tennis team was selected by the NCCAA to participate in this year's national tournament in Mobile, AL May 9-12. The team left McPherson on Saturday May 7 and arrived in Mobile on Sunday May 8. On Monday morning, the 16 teams involved in the tournament gathered for service projects in the Mobile area. The Tigers, together with about 60 other athletes worked with Habitat for Humanity painting and fixing 5 houses in one of the neighborhoods in Mobile. The guys spent 3 1/2 hours living out what they believe, being the hands and feet of Christ. The Tigers worked hard and enjoyed themselves in the process.
Monday night all the teams gathered for the championship banquet. Dan Wood, Executive Director of the NCCAA congratulated the athletes on their work in the morning reminding them of the lives they will touch with the love of Christ now and in the future with the work they accomplished during their service projects. Nathan Vanderhoof and Jesse Crawford were recognized as NCCAA Scholar Athletes, and Nathan was recognized as an NCCAA Ministry Award recipient.
The Tournament kicked off on Tuesday morning. The format was such that once a team got to 5 wins, the match was over and all other matches on court at the time were suspended. This type of format makes the scores look a lot worse than they actually were.
The Tigers first match was with Olivet Nazarene, another NAIA school out of Chicago, IL. ONU was too much or the Tigers defeating them 5-0. The Tigers played some close matches but it wasn't enough to overcome ONU. In the afternoon the Tigers matched up against NCAA II North Greenville University. NGU had won the tournament from '02 - '07 and every one of their top 6 were from outside of the United States. NGU handed the Tigers a 5-0 defeat.
The Tigers wrapped up the tournament on Wednesday morning with a 2-5 loss to Spring Arbor University from Spring Arbor, MI. The Tigers were swept in the doubles 3-0, losing a close match at #1 doubles 6-8. The two wins came at the #2 singles and #6 singles spot. Gunnar Kelley got the first win of the tournament for the Tigers at #6 followed up by Dylon Neal at the #2 spot.
Coach Nelson summed things up by saying, "This was a great honor and a great experience for our guys. It will be a great building block for our program going forward. I was very proud of the way the men conducted themselves both on and off the court. They represented themselves and the college very well."
The Tiger men finished with a 12-10 record.