The Seward County Community College men’s tennis team continues to play well at the NJCAA National Tournament in Plano, Texas, at Collin County Community College. The Saints won a total of six matches on Tuesday with three singles players and two doubles pairs advancing to the Round of 8 in their respective championship brackets, and one singles player tallying a victory in the consolation bracket. After play completed on Tuesday, the Saints are currently in seventh-place in the national tournament team standings with a total of 19.5 points. For the second straight season, Seward County has assured themselves of a Top 10 finish at the national tournament and have already equaled last year’s total of 19.5 points. Last year, the Saints played in their first-ever national tournament and finished in ninth-place.

Seward County won all five matches on Monday, and kept their winning streak alive with victories in their first three matches on Tuesday with wins in the top three singles matches. Saints No. 1 singles player Roberto Gomez was sharp in his national tournament singles debut with a three-point victory in the Round of 16 against Chris Reyna of Elgin Community College, 6-1 and 6-2. Gomez will now face the tournament’s top-ranked singles player, Jorge Vazquez of Tyler Junior College, on Wednesday at 8 a.m. in the Round of 8. Vazquez is ranked the No. 1 singles player in the nation this season, while Gomez has been ranked No. 41 nationally in singles.

Saints No. 3 singles player Victor Mesquita cruised in his second victory in as many days against Brian Craddock of Elgin Community College, 6-0 and 6-1. Mesquita advances to the Round of 8 on Wednesday against the fourth-seeded No. 3 singles player in the national tournament, Saman Samii of Collin County C.C. at 8 a.m. Mesquita, a freshman from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has earned the Saints three points during his two singles victories at the national tournament.

Mirko Perkusich won his second singles match, but unlike his three hour match on Monday, Perkusich needed a brief two sets to dispatch Robert Logan of Lewis and Clark Community College, 6-2 and 6-1. Perkusich, the Saints No. 2 singles player, advances to the Round of 8 on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Perkusich will face the fourth-seeded No. 2 singles player, Renato Costa of Vincennes University who defeated Arkansas Fort Smith in his Round of 16 match on Tuesday.

Luis Cabizuca dropped into the consolation bracket in No. 4 singles with a 2-6 and 3-6 loss against Clay Cypert of Cowley College. Since Cabizuca’s loss was in his first singles match, he was able to compete in the final match of the day in the consolation bracket against Oliver Clark, from Paradise Valley Community College. Cabizuca finished a long day where he played a total of three matches (two singles and one doubles) to collect a half point for the Saints team total with a 6-1, 5-7 and 10-4 (tie breaker) victory. Cabizuca advances in the consolation bracket on Wednesday and will play Bentley Dye of Collin County C.C. at 9:15 a.m.

Rogerio Yamamoto lost in the Round of 16 on Tuesday against fourth-seeded Craig Kessler of Scottsdale Community College 6-7 (4-7) and 2-6, in a hard fought match in No. 5 singles play. Yamamoto battled back in the first set to force Kessler into a first set tie-breaker. Kessler pulled out the tie-breaker 4-7, and would the defeat Yamamoto in the second set advancing in the championship bracket. Yamamoto will drop into the consolation bracket on Wednesday morning playing against Nathan Bergmann of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith at 10:30 a.m.

Seward County freshman Charlie Salter was eliminated from singles competition with a loss against fourth-seeded Justin Miller of Scottsdale Community College in No. 6 singles. Salter was defeated 6-1 and 6-0, after picking up two points for the Saints in day-one of competition in singles on Monday with a win over Jones County C.C.

In doubles competition, Seward County advanced their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams, while No. 3 doubles pair Roberto Gomez/Charlie Salter were eliminated from doubles play 5-7 and 2-6 against Carlos Albuja/Rhett Rickman of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Saints No. 1 doubles team Mirko Perkusich/Victor Mesquita had little trouble with Trevor Kleinschnittger/Carlos Sanchez of Lewis and Clark C.C. with a 6-4 and 6-1 victory. Perkusich/Mesquita, a pair of freshmen who transferred into the Saints program at Christmas break, are both playing in the championship bracket in singles and doubles competition. They advance into the Round of 8 on Wednesday to play Manuel Carette/Saman Samii of Collin County C.C. at noon. Carette/Samii pulled off an upset on Tuesday against the third-seeded No. 1 doubles team of Scottsdale C.C.

Cabizuca/Yamamoto had another come-from-behind victory in No. 2 doubles, a day after coming from behind to advance into the Round of 16. On Tuesday Cabizuca and Yamamoto dropped the first set 2-6 to Ryan Klucker and Robert Logan of Lewis and Clark C.C. The Saints pair came back with dominating 6-2 and 6-1 set victories advancing into the Round of 8 on Wednesday, against the top-seeded No. 2 doubles team of Haris Hadzihalilovic/Daniel Luedi of Scottsdale Community College at noon.

SAINTS TENNIS SCHEDULE AT NATIONAL TOURNAMENT FOR WEDNESDAY:
No. 1 Singles: Roberto Gomez vs. Jorge Vazquez (8 a.m.) – Round of 8 Championship Bracket
No. 2 Singles: Victor Mesquita vs. Saman Samii (8 a.m.) – Round of 8 Championship Bracket
No. 3 Singles: Mirko Perkusich vs. Renato Costa (8 a.m.) – Round of 8 Championship Bracket
No. 4 Singles: Luis Cabizuca vs. Bentley Dye (9:15 a.m.) – Round of 8 Consolation Bracket
No. 5 Singles: Rogerio Yamamoto vs. Nathan Bergmann (10:15 a.m.) – Round of 8 Consolation Bracket
No. 1 Doubles: Perkusich/Mesquita vs. Carette/Samii (12 p.m.) – Round of 8 Championship Bracket
No. 2 Doubles: Cabizuca/Yamamoto vs. Hadzihalilovic/Luedi (12 p.m.) – Round of 8 Championship Bracket