Chevez and Macke lead tennis teams to strong starts for fall season

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Sophomore Jorge Chevez returns the ball in a match. Chevez won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Central-West/ Southwest regional tournament. 

Doane men’s and women’s tennis teams are coming off strong performances this past week, with Jorge Chevez winning the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central-West/Southwest Regional Tournament and Ava Macke winning the Southwest Invitational.

Chevez, a sophomore from Panama City, Panama, was the sixth seed coming into the tournament.

In the championship match, he defeated top-seeded Alejandro Oviedo of Texas A&M-Texarkana.

Chevez dropped the first set versus Oviedo 3-6, but rallied in the final two sets with 6-2 and 6-4 wins to take the title, according to Doane Athletics.

Macke, a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, was the third seed going into the tournament and defeated Doane teammate Brylee Lauby 9-8 in the championship match. Lauby was the fourth seed in the tournament.

This is Chevez’s second straight individual title in two weeks. He won the Great Plains Athletic Conference Individuals tournament in the “A” flight on Sept, 14.

“A” flight is the toughest flight.

Chevez won the tournament after dropping his first set 2-6, but winning the second set 6-1 and the tiebreaker 10-3, according to the Doane tennis team’s Twitter page.

Chevez also won the doubles portion of the tournament with sophomore teammate Henrique Sakoda.

The pair defeated Midland’s Miguel Abete and Conrad Mascarenhas with a score of 6-4.

“When it comes to how [Chevez] plays under pressure, he loves that,” graduate assistant Coach Ignacio Morell said. “He motivates his teammates to practice and do things a little harder, but the main thing here is he is a sophomore and playing number one.”

In regards to playing number one, Morell said there is often a perception that freshmen and sophomores don’t get a fair shake at being the highest-ranked player on the team and that Chevez earning this spot proves that’s not true.

For Macke and the women’s team, having two players in the championship match was a strong show for them.

Coming off of a 3-12 overall record last year, the young squad is showing improvement from last season.

At the GPAC Individual Tournament, Ariel Ortiz played for third place in the “B” bracket, Huong Ngo & Payton Stalder played for third in the “C” bracket, Katelyn Jindra earned second place and Daniella Ruiz Martinez played for third in the “D” bracket.

“I think overall they did a great job from the top to the bottom,” Morell said. “They are overall really competitive regardless of the flight.”

Both teams return to action in a duel versus Bethel College at home on Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. before traveling to the Creighton Invitational on Sept. 27.