Playing in the first college matches of their careers, most would expect
the five Seward County Saints doing so at the Wichita Intercollegiate
Tournament over the weekend, to struggle some. However, that was
certainly not the case as freshman Alejandro Gonzalez and Ronzai
Saurambe dazzled onlookers throughout the tournament, reaching the
finals where they matched up against each other with Gonzalez coming out
on top to win the tournament championship in his first competition.
Seward Head Coach Jerry Thor knew he was getting a couple of blue
chippers when he signed Gonzalez and Saurambe, from El Salvador and
Zimbabwe respectively, but I'm not sure that the second year coach new
that he was getting quite this much talent in the two. Saurambe opened
the tournament with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Miguel Bendito of Newman to get
things going for the Saints in the Flight A bracket while Gonzalez had
an even easier time with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Rene Turti of Nebraska
Wesleyan in his first collegiate match. Saurambe cruised again in the
second round, getting past Mark Mahan 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semi's while
Gonzalez was nearly upset, having to come from behind to beat Joan Marc
Rodriguez 6-7, 7-6, 10-3 in what was likely the match of the tournament.
In the semi's Saurambe dueled with the reigning KCAC Player of the Year
Rafa Bulnes, but the accolades didn't impress him much as he came out
and put a 6-0 score on Bulnes in the twos first set. In the second set
Bulnes made Saurambe work overtime as the two were tied 6-6 before
Saurambe won the tiebreak 10-3 to take the match 2-0 and reach the
final. Gonzalez didn't have nearly as much trouble in his semifinal
tilt, making quick work of Lucas Asnis of Nebraska Wesleyan 6-1, 6-1 to
setup an all Seward County final between himself and Saurambe. In the
friendly final it was Gonzalez who prevailed, winning the Wichita
Intercollegiate Championship with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Saurambe to finish
the weekend on a high note for both.
The Saints split four matches in the first round of the Flight B draw.
Trevor Kipping and Collin Glassman picked up wins while Brandon Kafarela
and Adrian Amado were unable to come back from slow starts. Kipping was
nearly unstoppable in his match against Seth Peters of Nebraska
Wesleyan, winning 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the second round. Glassman
earned his first collegiate win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Trevor
Adams to join Kipping in the quarterfinals. Kipping continued his
strong play, putting matching 6-2 scores on Max Pyle of Newman in the
second round to reach the semis while Glassman wasn't as lucky, falling
6-3, 6-2 to Mitchel Whitmer of Newman to end his weekend in singles
play. Kafarela bounced back with a pair of wins in the consolation
bracket, first beating Seth Shimerda of Nebraska Wesleyan 8-3 and then
dropping Pyle 8-1 to reach the title match where he fell 6-1, 4-6, 10-8
to finish as the runner up. Kipping was tripped up for the first time
in the semis where he split a pair of 6-2 sets with Alex Jackson before
again going the distance with Jackson in the tiebreaker where he fell
10-8. In the third place match Kipping was victorious, beating Whitmer
6-3, 6-2 to end the weekend on a positive.
Saurabme and Kipping teamed up in the Flight A doubles bracket for a win
over Turti/Millburn of Nebraska Wesleyan in the first round, but were
ousted in the second round by Chai/Dullaghan 8-3 to end their weekend
together. On the other side of the bracket Gonzalez and Kafarela
paired, but were unable to get any stream going as they lost 8-2 to
Ansis/Plentz of Nebraska Wesleyan to knocked them out. Amado and
Glassman took the court for the Saints in the B Flight, but were never
able to make a mark against Wherritt/Whitmer of Newman as they fell 8-0
in the first round.
The Saints start the season 14-10 overall as a team. They will continue
their fall season this weekend when they go to Salina for the Bethany
Invitational where Thor expects the competition to be another notch up
for his young Saints.
The Seward County Lady Saints Tennis team got their 2013 fall season
going in Wichita over the weekend, taking on a slew of teams from the
Sunflower State in the Wichita Intercollegiate Tournament. Six Lady
Saints saw their first collegiate action in the tournament with Paula
Coyos and Paula Lopez leading Seward in the Flight A draw. Coyos and
Lopez tied for 5th in the A draw while four Lady Saints made up the
field of the Flight B semifinals to highlight the weekend.
In the top flight of the tournament, Coyos and Lopez matched up against
a number of top notch competitors from Newman University, Nebraska
Wesleyan University, and Wichita State University among others. Coyos
earned a win in her first match as a Lady Saint, defeating Katherine
Ternent of Nebraska Wesleyan by matching 6-2 scores in the first round
of the tournament. Lopez followed suit in her opener, downing Hillary
Hicks of Newman 6-1, 6-3 in quick order to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarters Coyos battled tough against Kirstie Symon, another
Newman Jet, and the Seward freshman led 4-3 and up a break in both sets,
but in the end it was Symon coming away with a 6-4, 6-4 win to knock
Coyos from the tournament. On the bottom half of the bracket Lopez drew
a tough matchup with Abby Stevens from Wichita State and wasn't able to
overcome a slow start as she went down 6-2, 6-4.
Seward sent five players to the court in the Flight B draw of the
tournament. Unfortunately for the Lady Saints, their only win in five
first round matches came from freshman Jackie Arnold who played a long
battle with Courtney Harder from Nebraska Wesleyan before finally coming
out on top 2-6, 6-0, 10-5. Kathryn Roohan played the closest match in a
losing effort for the Lady Saints, winning four games in both sets
against Lexie Klingler of Newman, but she fell 6-4, 6-4 to fall to the
consolation bracket. Arnold had some trouble in the second round of the
tournament and was blanked 6-0, 6-0 by Carissa Villator of Newman to end
her weekend in singles play. Three Lady Saints cruised in the first
round of the consolation bracket as Roohan defeated Jamie Bridges of
Nebraska Wesleyan 6-1, 6-0, Naomi Bukassa knocked off Courtney Harder
also of Nebraska Wesleyan, 6-0, 6-2, and Vippavee Ngamsiri picked up a
default win to send four Lady Saints to the semifinals. In the semi's
it was Bukassa over Grace Golden 6-1, 6-1 and Roohan over Ngamsiri in a
good 7-5, 6-7 (5), 10-8 match before Roohan outlasted Bukassa 6-0, 6-1
in the consolation final to win that bracket.
The Lady Saints didn't fare quite as well in doubles play. In the A
Flight, Lopez and Coyos picked up Seward's only win in doubles action,
knocking off Symon/Jordan of Newman 8-6, but had their tournament ended
by Scholtterback/Stevens of Wichita State, who played unattached, 8-2.
Golden/Arnold gave it a go in the Flight B bracket but fell 8-4 to
Harder/Boyd of Nebraska Wesleyan and Ngamsiri and Roohan suffered the
same fate, losing 8-3 to Klingler/Pold of Newman in the first round.
The Lady Saints finished the tournament 10-13 overall in matches as a
team their first time out in 2013. Next up will be another step up in
competition when they travel to Salina for the Bethany Invitational
Friday and Saturday.