For the third straight season the Seward County Saints Tennis team has earned a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament. The Saints finished in 3rd place at the Region VI Tournament over the weekend which qualifies them to head to the National Championships yet again. Seward managed 13 points on the weekend in Wichita, placing 3rd behind Cowley who swept all nine spots and finished with 27 points, and Johnson County who was 2nd with 18 points. Felipe Cruz was the Saints top individual performer, finishing 2nd in the tournament in #2 singles.

In the top draw of the tournament the Saints sent sophomore Cristiano Mendes to battle and after going down 6-3, 6-4 in the 1st round, was unable to play his 3rd place match and finished 4th. In #2 singles, Cruz picked up 2 points for the Saints, winning his first match over Johnson County before falling to the champion Tigers 6-0, 6-3 in the title match. Lucas Izkovitz played the match of the tournament in his first match of the #3 draw, winning the first set 7-5 over Johnson before dropping the second and third 6-2, 6-4. He did bounce back to win the 3rd place match over Hesston 6-0, 6-1 to bring home a point for Seward. In #4 singles Raphael Machado represented the Saints and fell 6-4, 6-1 in the semis to Johnson County before taking home the consolation match 6-2, 6-1 over Hesston. Riccardo Bassani lost a tough first match in #5 singles 6-4, 7-5 to Johnson before easily handing Hesston 6-1, 6-0 in the 3rd place match while Justin Pena just about threw a wrench in Cowley’s sweep attempt, winning his first set of the #6 singles bracket 6-4 over the Tigers before dropping the next two 6-4, 7-5 to lose the match.
Izkovitz and Pena teamed in #1 doubles and lost to Johnson before beating Hesston to finish 3rd while Cruz and Machado did the same, falling to the Cavs in the semis before taking the consolation match 6-2, 6-2 over Barton. In #3 doubles the Saints didn’t fare well as Mendes and Bassani suffered a devastating loss to Cowley as after winning the first set 6-0, lost the next two 6-4, 6-3 to lose the match.
Seward finished the tournament 7-11 overall and are now 54-47 overall on the season which is the record they will take into the National Tournament in Plano which begins May 13th in the Lone Star State.