With a 6-3 win Friday over Hesston, the Seward County Saints Menís Tennis team has made history, tying the schoolís all-time team wins mark at 6, a record that was set during the 2006 Spring season. Things started well for the #16 Seward County Saints this weekend in their final road trip of the 2013 regular season as they began things with a 6-3 win over region opponent Hesston, but things didnít finish so peachy for the guys in green as they were knocked off 9-0 by #10 Johnson County in a match that was much closer than the final count would indicate.

The Saints got things started on the trip with two early wins against Hesston in doubles play. Justin Pena and Luke Robertson continued to show why they are true contenders for the Region VI crown as they breezed by Luis Ramirez and Keenan Jensen in #1 doubles 8-1 to give Seward their first point of the day. In #2 doubles Donnersson Penna and Daniel Alonte made things look equally as easy, besting Taylor Ermoian and Drew Hostetler 8-2 to put the Saints on top 2-0. Hesston drew to within one with a 8-5 victory at #3 doubles, but the Saints took a 2-1 advantage into the singles portion of action.
There wasnít a whole lot of drama in any of the six singles matches on this day. Penna easily took care of Jensen in #2 play 6-0, 6-0 to put Seward up 3-1 and Robertson and Alonte sealed the match win for the Saints with 6-1, 6-0 wins at #3 and #4 to put them ahead 5-1. Hesston picked up points at #5 and #6 singles to make the score respectable at 5-3, but Pena finished the Saints big day with a 6-2, 6-3 win at #1 singles over Ramirez to wrap up Sewardís 6-3 victory.
Next up the Saints had to crawl into a stirred up hornetsí nest against Johnson County after the Cavaliers dropped from #4 to #10 in the ITA rankings just one day earlier. Johnson quickly showed their might with a blanking of the Saints at #3 doubles 8-0 to take a 1-0 lead and took a 2-0 lead with an 8-3 win in #2 doubles. The matchup at #1 singles was a marquee one as the 11th ranked duo in the country Spartak Rahachou and Pedro Garcia from Johnson County took on the 13th ranked pair in the nation Pena and Robertson from Seward. The match lived up to its billing, going the distance before Rahachou and Garcia pulled ahead late to win 8-6 to give the Cavs a 3-0 lead.
Johnson picked up the first two points in singles play with wins at #5 and #6, dropping just one game in the process to secure the match victory and earned easy wins at #2 and #3 singles to blow the score wide open at 7-0. The matches at #1 and #4 singles were almost identical as both Pena and Robertson won 6-3 first sets in their matches before dropping their second sets 6-1 to force a third set tiebreak. Taking on Rahachou, who is ranked 9th in the country, Pena, the countryís #24 ranked player, battled to the bitter end before going down 10-5 to put Johnson up 8-0. The #4 match between Robertson and Olivier Nimmegeers was the match of the day. In the third set tiebreak Robertson held a late lead despite battling through a nagging shoulder injury that has plagued him all year. Up 8-6, Robertson hit a shot that looked to be a winner that would have sent him to match point, but without officials assigned to regular season NJCAA tennis matches, Nimmegeers called Robertsonís ball out and it swung the momentum to the Cavalier side. Nimmegeers went on to win the final three points of the controversial set to win 10-8 and wrap up the sweep for Johnson County 9-0.
Seward finishes the regular season just one match under .500 at 6-7 overall. The 6 wins tie the schoolís all-time record for wins in a spring season, matching the 2006 squads total. The Saints will now head to the Region VI Tournament this weekend in Wichita as the #3 seeded team. To qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament, the Saints will need to finish in the top 3 at the region event which will be played at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita. Play will begin at 9:00 at both days with the championship matches to be played Saturday morning.