Plano, TX—The Marion Military Institute (MMI) Tigers placed 19th in the nation at the 2016 NJCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship at the Collin College tennis courts. Xavier Bell, MMI's No. 4 singles player and a member of MMI's No. 3 doubles team with Max Holloway, accounted for four of MMI's eight team points. Blake McDonald, MMI's No. 5 singles player, and MMI's No. 1 doubles team of Adam Bahney and Andrew Wright collected the remaining four team points for MMI.
Bell blasted Pedro Ferretti of Lewis and Clark Community College (IL), 6-1, 6-1, in opening-round action on Monday, giving MMI its first two team points of the day.
Blake McDonald followed Bell's lead, scoring an equally impressive win over Chris Malavan of Paradise Valley Community College (AZ), 6-1, 6-1. McDonald's win boosted the MMI team total to four points.
Both Bell and McDonald were eliminated during Tuesday's play. Bell lost to the tournament's No. 1-seeded player, Chisomo Lumeta of Seminole State College (OK), 6-1, 6-2, and McDonald fell to Innocent Tidimane, the No. 5-seeded player from Seminole State College.
MMI's Adam Bahney and Andrew Wright bested the College of DuPage (IL) team of Josh Abarca and Charlie Mack, 6-1, 6-1, before being ousted by the No. 3-seeded ASA Miami team of Federico Gomez and Callum Poland-Smith, 6-1, 6-0. MMI's No. 1 doubles team of Bahney and Wright added two more team points to MMI's total.
And finally, Bell and Holloway scored the final two team points for MMI by downing the College of DuPage's David Demoll and Danny Simmons in a fine three-setter, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Bell and Holloway then lost to the No. 1-seeded pair from ASA New York, Tomas Dirube and Emmanuel Popadinec, 6-2, 6-2,
"That was a pretty respectable showing for the team," said head coach Charles Wright. "I believe all of our singles players and doubles teams lost to seeds—and highly-ranked seeds, at that. In addition, we cobbled together a team that lost three of its top players through various issues ranging from injuries to family emergencies. I was proud of how the kids dealt with adversity. They pulled together and competed well."