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Mariga Captures Pair of Titles

KSCB News - September 22, 2015 12:25 pm

After an opening weekend of action where they felt like they just quite couldn’t get over the hump, the Seward County Saints certainly were able to do that in their second outs in 2015 as Seward went a combined 26-9, winning three championships at Friday and Saturday’s Oklahoma City Collegiate Open Tournament in the Sooner State.

In the tournament’s top singles bracket, Alvaro Regnifo earned his first win of the season for Seward, downing Braydon Montgomery 6-1, 6-3 in his opening round match. Przemek Zielinski had trouble in his opener for Seward, falling 6-3, 6-1 to Eduardo Dos Santos of Newman, but Zielinski fought back to capture three consecutive straight set victories in the consolation bracket to take home the consolation title.

In #2 singles, the Saints sent two more players into the fold. Ngoni Makambwa defeated Diego Rojo of Newman in his first match, coming back from an early 2-6 deficit to win the second 6-3 and the third decisively 10-3 in a tiebreak to advance. Ondrej Nice had an easier time with his Jet opponent, knocking off Jose Coiras 6-4, 6-2 to move on to the quarters. Makambwa wouldn’t have the same luck in his second match, dropping a close decision to Marcos Guimaraes of Seminole State, but Nice was able to earn a 6-4, 6-2 win over Thomas Ackerknecht of Oklahoma Baptist to advance to the round of four. In the semis, Nice faced a stiff test in Innocent Tidimane of Seminole, but rose to the challenge, winning the first set 6-3. The second would go the way of Tidimane 6-3 and the Trojans star was able to slip past Nice 10-6 in the third to take the match.

Tare Mariga and Felipe Casares stole the show in the #3 singles bracket. Each player cruised to straight set first round wins to move on to the second round where Mariga won a close call over Leon Horn of Oklahoma Baptist 7-5, 7-6 while Casares continued to coast with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Nick Bell of Seminole to put two Saints into the final four of the bracket. Both Mariga and Casares had battles on their hands in the semis. Casares took an early lead with a 7-5 win in the first, but his opponent, Chisomo Lumeta of Seminole State took the second 6-4 to send the match to a tiebreak. In the deciding set, Casares edged out an 11-9 win to take the match and clinch his spot in the title match. In the other semifinal, Mariga had far less trouble, hammering Ajani King of Newman 6-0 in the first before coasting to a 6-1 win to punch his ticket to the championship dual against Casares. The two friends turned foes decided to play the final out in a best two out of three tiebreaker match. Casares took the first 10-8 while Mariga won a close second 11-9 to force a third. The two went the distance and then some in the third with Mariga eventually eeking out a 15-13 win over his doubles partner to claim the crown.

In the #4 singles bracket, Seward had just one competitor, but freshman Zach Suico made sure to make his mark on the flight. After dropping his first set to Patrick Sims of Oklahoma Baptist in the opening round 6-0, Suico looked like he was in trouble, but he continued to fight, coming back to win the second 7-5 and the tiebreak 10-5 to advance. In the second round he dropped Jacob Santana of Seminole State 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the final and in the championship match he downed Grady McCain of Arkansas-Fort Smith 6-4, 6-4 to claim the bracket title.

Des’mne Curtis was the Saints man in the #5 singles draw and he had no problem in either of his first two matches, sweeping past Nicolas Tovar of Newman and Chase Penka of Barton 6-1, 6-0 to reach the third round. In his third round match he jumped out to a lead with a solid 6-2 win in the first over Parker Johnson of Seminole State, but dropped a tight 7-5 second set before falling 10-7 in the tiebreak to finish 3rd.

Doubles action was a mixed bag for the Saints on the weekend. In the #1 draw, the Saints sent a pair of duos to the court. Zielinski and Nice were the first to get on the board, defeating Nino/Reyes of Southwest Christian 8-3 to pass through to the second round. Regnifo and Makambwa had a tougher time, falling 8-3 to Coiras/King of Newman to drop to the consolation bracket. Zielinski and Nice had maybe the most impressive performance of the weekend for Seward in a losing cause in their second round match, battling Iradukunda/Mzai, the early favorites for the top doubles team in the nation, to the end before falling 8-6 to wrap up their weekend. Regnifo and Makambwa bounced back from their opening round loss to win a pair of 8-2 decisions in the consolation bracket to claim the title there.

After battling it out in singles play against each other, Mariga and Casares paired up in the #2 doubles bracket for Seward. As they did through the #3 singles draw, the duo cruised, winning their first two matches in the draw 8-3 to quickly move on to the final round with a title on the line. They took on Horn/Vetter of Oklahoma Baptist and saw their first challenge of the weekend, but in the end came out on top, winning 8-6 to claim the Flight 2 championship.

Suico and Curtis teamed for the Saints in #3 doubles and picked up an opening round, 8-6 win over Clack/Smith of Newman, but couldn’t quite pull off a second round win as they fell 9-8 in a tight one to Navarette/Sims of Oklahoma Baptist to finish off their weekend.

The Saints finish the tournament 26-9 as a team, claiming three tournament championships to improve to 34-19 on the fall campaign. Next up for Seward is a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in the Oral Roberts Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday.


Roy Allen

The Seward County Lady Saints traveled to Oklahoma City over the weekend to compete in the 2015 Oklahoma City Collegiate Open Tournament. Seward had their ups and downs on the weekend, finishing 8-15 overall as a team.

Seward sent two players into the tournament’s top draw in singles as Mialiniaina Rakotondrazafy and Alba Payeras took the court for the Lady Saints. Each had a tough time in their opening round matches with Payeras going down in straight sets and Rakotondrazafy falling in a tight third set tiebreak. Rakotondrazafy battled back with a 6-2, 6-1 win in the consolation bracket over Taylor Jordan of Southwest Christian, before falling in the consolation semis to Lindsy Pearce of Arkansas- Fort Smith.

The Lady Saints had a little bit more luck in the #2 singles draw behind Maminianina Rakotondrazafy and Nthabi Mogopodi. Each player won their first round matchup, Rakotondrazafy knocking off Whitley Langford of Texas A&M Texarkana 6-1, 6-0 and Mogopodi downing Caroline Abbe over Oklahoma Baptist 6-2, 6-3. In the quarters, both of Seward’s players saw their run come to an end though as Rakotondrazafy and Mogopodi were each blanked in the opening set 6-0 before falling in their second sets to wrap up their singles play for the weekend.

Tadi Mrewa was the Lady Saints lone representative in #3 singles. She took on Ashton Willis of Texas Wesleyan in her first round match, taking care of her 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the quarters. After a 7-6 opening set loss to Arianna Raga of Newman in the quarterfinals, Mrewa was unable to finish the match, withdrawing with an injury to end her tournament.

In #4 singles Crizta Goslin picked up a win for the Lady Saints in her opening round match, defeating Sydney Haerens of North Central Texas 6-2, 6-3 to move on to the next round. In the second round she played Tristen Brunson of Arkansas-Fort Smith tough in the first set, but fell 6-4 and couldn’t recover for the second set, dropping it 6-0 to finish her singles play for the weekend.

The final Lady Saint in action this weekend was Ana Cabrera in #5 singles. Playing in her first matches for Seward this season, Cabrera struggled to find her swing, falling 6-2, 6-1 in each of her matches to end the tournament 0-2.

Seward sent three doubles teams to the court in pairs play. Mogopodi and Maminiaina Rakotondrazafy were first up, but never got things going in an 8-2 loss in the #1 doubles opening round. Payeras and Mialiniaina Rakotondrazafy suffered the same fate in their match, dropping an 8-1 decision to Newman. The Lady Saints only win in five matches in #1 doubles came thanks to Payeras and Rakotondrazafy in the consolation bracket who outlasted Keylon and Lynch of Texas A&M Texarkana 9-8 in a thriller.

Goslin and Mrewa took the court in #3 doubles for the Lady Saints, winning their opening match 8-6 over Griffith/Haerens of North Central Texas to advance to the quarters. In the second round they scratched out another close win, taking down Charvat/Morales of Oklahoma Baptist 8-6 to mark the deepest run for any Seward players on the weekend. In their third round match they ran into a buzz saw in Brunson/Wright from Arkansas-Fort Smith however, falling 8-2 to end their tournament in 3rd place.

Seward was 8-15 overall on the weekend, moving their 2015 fall mark to 10-31 overall. The Lady Saints will have the week off before traveling back to the Sooner State where they will take part in the Northeastern State Tournament Friday and Saturday in Bixby.


Roy Allen


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