After a big day one of the NJCAA National Tournament, the Seward County Lady Saints finish their 2011 trip to Tucson in 12th place out of 31 teams overall. The Lady Saints sat in 2nd place after the first day of the tournament as they were a perfect 6-0 in singles play and 2-1 in doubles action. As the road got substantially stronger on the second day in Tucson, Seward fought hard but went winless in 6 singles matches and won just 1 of 3 tries in doubles matches. The lone remaining team on the third day of the tournament was Marcela Abrantes and Lindy Kowalchuk who fell 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the #3 doubles bracket but finish the tournament in 5th place after winning the Region VI Tournament a week earlier.

Seward racked up 17 points overall which puts them in a 12th place tie with region rival Johnson County at the moment with the only team able to catch the two in the standings with players still remaining in the tournament being Pima meaning that the worst the Lady Saints could finish would be in a tie for 13th place with the Lady Cavs.
In the #1 singles bracket the Lady Saints sent freshman Dariya Dashutina to do battle with some of the nation’s best. Dashutina earned Seward’s first points of the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win in her first match against Central Alabama but fell to 3rd seeded Lee College in the second round 6-2, 6-3 to finish in 9th place in the tournament. Fanny Benincasa made her return trip to the tournament in the #2 singles slot this season and was a 6-0, 6-0 winner in the first round against Harford CC but dropped a 6-3, 6-2 battle to 6th seeded Eastern Arizona in the second round to finish 9th as well. Kauana Goncalves was the Lady Saints #3 player in the tournament and got off to a good start in the first round with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Rend Lake College to advance to the round of 16. In the second round she ran up against a tough draw in 2nd seeded Lee College and fell 6-0, 6-3 to end her tournament in 9th place. In #4 singles it was Salitza Abrantes winning her first round match over Itawamba CC 6-4, 6-1 before matching up with 5th seeded St. Petersburg College in the second round in which she lost 6-1, 6-3 to finish 9th. Marcela Abrantes had Seward’s best showing in singles of the tournament as she won her first match of the #5 singles draw swiftly 6-1, 6-0 over Muskegon CC and put up a valiant effort in her second round match against St. Petersburg before eventually losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to end up in 9th place. #6 singles Region VI Champion Lindy Kowalchuk was also a first round winner for Seward on day one as the knocked off Itawamba CC 6-3, 6-1 in the first round before dropping her second round decision 6-0, 6-0 to top seeded Tyler to finish her Lady Saints career in 9th place.
Benincasa and Dashutina also got things off on the right foot in doubles play where they won their #1 doubles bracket first round match 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) over Pima in a win that as the tournament comes to a close could have secure Seward 12th place with Pima 1 point behind them in the standings. In the second round the duo would square off with 8th seeded New Mexico Military and they would go down in a tough battle 6-3, 6-4 to end their tournament in 9th place. Goncalves and S. Abrantes had a tough time in #2 doubles as they dropped their first round match 6-0, 6-0 to Eastern Arizona before facing the tough fortune of taking on 5th seeded Abraham Baldwin in the consolation quarterfinals in which they fell 8-3. M. Abrantes and Kowalchuk were the big winners on the week for the Lady Saints as the two were seeded 7th of the 32 teams in Tucson and wouldn’t disappoint. They won their first round match 6-2, 6-1 over Muskegon CC and then became the first Seward County players to reach the round of eight with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over New Mexico Military in the second round. In the quarterfinals they fell 6-0, 6-1 to 2nd seeded Lee College but finished the tournament in 5th place.
The Lady Saints wrap up their trip to the southwest 6-6 in singles action and 3-4 in doubles play. To find out whether the Lady Saints finish 12th or 13th CLICK HERE later in the week as final tournament results are posted.