For the second straight season, the Seward County Lady Saints Tennis Team will be headed to the NJCAA National Tournament after finishing 3rd in the always tough Region VI Tournament last weekend in Wichita. Seward finished just ½ point ahead of Johnson County to get the nod to go to Tucson this weekend, helped greatly by a Regional Championship from Antigone Lowery who won the #5 singles bracket. Lowery was the only non-Cowley player to win any singles or doubles championship in the entire tournament after she defeated Cowley’s #5 player in a third set tie break. Fabiola Wisnesky finished 3rd in the #1 singles bracket and Valerie Stevens finished 3rd in the #3 singles after defeating Johnson County players in the 3rd place match 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-1 respectively. Juliana Boas finished 4th in the #2 singles bracket after winning 6-0, 6-0 over Hutch in the first round but falling to Barton County and then Johnson County in the 3rd place match. Alyssa Larson lost a tough 6-4, 6-4 match in the second round of her #4 singles bracket and then fell in another heartbreaking match 7-5, 7-5 to Barton County to finish a respectable 4th place. Sylvia Perez won her first match against Hutchinson and played a close first set with the #1 seeded Cowley player (6-3, 6-0) and an even closer match with Johnson County in the 3rd place game but fell just short 5-7, 6-3, 7-10 to take home 4th. In doubles action Wisnesky and Stevens teamed up to finish 3rd after winning 6-0, 6-3 against Hesston and nearly upsetting 2nd seeded Barton 6-7, 4-6 before winning the 3rd place match 2-6, 6-4, 10-0 over Johnson County. Boas and Larson took 4th in the #2 doubles after beating Hutch 6-0, 6-0 and nearly beating 1st seeded Cowley 6-7, 3-6 before falling in the 3rd place match to Barton County 6-3, 6-2. Lowery and Perez got together to take on the #3 doubles field and finished in 3rd place after upsetting the 1st seeded Barton County dual 6-1, 7-6 to secure the Lady Saints bid to Nationals. The National Tournament will begin May 2nd and run through May 7th at the beautiful Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona. To follow along with the Lady Saints in the desert, check out http://www.randolphtenniscenter.com/tournament_njcaa_2009.htm throughout the tournament for up to date results and scores.
The Seward County Men’s Tennis Team came up just short of a bid to the National Tournament as they finished in 4th place in the always tough Region VI Tournament in Wichita. The Saints got off to a slow start as #1 player Diego Abreu was knocked out in the tournament’s first round by Hutchinson in a close 6-4, 7-5 match. Christian Romanzini put some points on the board for Seward as he knocked off Hesston in the first round 6-0, 6-1 before falling to the top seeded Johnson County player 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals. He did however bounce back to take home 3rd place as he defeated Cowley in the consolation match 4-6, 6-4, 10-5. Carlos Souza finished 4th after starting strong with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Hutch before falling to Barton County 6-2, 6-1 and then Cowley in the 3rd place match up 6-4, 6-3. Ivan Michelli finished 4th in his #4 singles division after winning his first round match up with Hesston 6-0, 6-1 before putting up an upset bid against top ranked Cowley 2-6, 5-7 in the semifinals. He then fell to 3rd ranked Johnson County in the 3rd place match 2-6, 4-6 to take 4th. Fernando Soni won his first round matchup with Hesston 6-0, 6-0 and gave top seeded Johnson County all they could handle as he lost set 1 6-1 but stormed back to win set 2 6-1 before falling in the tiebreak 10-2. Soni then had another epic battle in the 3rd place match with Cowley as he lost in another 3rd set tie break 7-10 after splitting the first two sets 3-6 and 6-4. Caio Rodrgiues had his work cut out for him after winning in round one of the #6 singles bracket as he faced top seeded Cowley losing 6-1, 6-4 just to face 2nd seeded Barton where he fell valiantly 6-3, 6-1 to take 4th. Abreu and Romanzini took on Hesston in the #1 doubles bracket and made quick work of them in a 6-0, 6-0 romp in round one before falling to Johnson County and Barton County in the following two matches to finish 4th. Souza and Michelli took home 3rd place in the #2 doubles bracket as they defeated Hutch and Cowley sandwiched around a loss to Johnson County in the semifinals. Soni and Rodrigues laced up their shoes for the #3 doubles portion of the tournament and beat Hutchinson before losing to Barton in the semis, then falling to Cowley 6-3, 6-2 in the 3rd place match. The Saints fall just short of the National Tournament after playing one of the most difficult schedules in school history. They will return three players from this year’s team for next season in hopes of getting into that top three in Region VI and advancing to Plano, Texas for the National Tournament.