With high hopes of an ITA Regional Championship and a
trip to the ITA National Tournament on their minds, the Seward County
Saints traveled to Oklahoma City over the weekend. The Saints struggled
in singles action, sending just one player past the round of 16, but had
a chance to win another tournament title before Ronzai Saurombe and
Alejandro Gonzalez were edged in the doubles final to end their
tournament one win short of a championship.
Six Seward players hit the court in the singles draw of
the tournament. The Saints managed just one win in five first round
matchups, that coming from Alejandro Gonzalez who knocked off Mitch
Vechione of Seminole State 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the second round. In
other first round matchups, the Saints had some troubles. Adriam Amado
went down 6-2, 6-0 to Brady Matthews of Seminole State, Brandon Kafarela
fell 6-3, 6-0 to Tyler Bridges also of Seminole, while Trevor Kipping
lost 6-2, 6-3 to Ryan Hoverson of Cowley and Colin Glassman dropped his
match 6-1, 6-1 to Alex Clerihew of Seminole State.
In the second round Ronzai Saurombe, who got a first
round bye as the 5 seed, went up against Kavin Kochersperger of Johnson
County. Saurombe battled through a tough first set to pull out a 7-6
win and cruised in the second 6-3 to reach the quarters. Gonzalez was
the other Saints representative in the second round and he looked like
he was on his way to joining Saurombe after he beat Josh Coleman of
Cowley 6-4 in the first set, but Colwman stormed back to win the second
6-2 and buried Gonzalez in the third set tiebreaker 6-2 as well to take
the match. In Saurombe's quarterfinal match he met up with 3rd seeded
Harry Busby of Cowley. With action forced inside due to inclimate
weather, Saurombe had a tough time adjusting and Busby took advantage
with a 6-2 win in the first. With momentum on his side, Busby continued
to roll, downing Saurombe 6-2 in the second set as well to eliminate him
from the tournament.
In doubles action the Saints had three duo's in action.
Amado and Glassman were the only pair in action in the first round and
their chances were dashed quickly with an 8-1 loss to Bridges/Brown of
Seminole State. Kafarela and Kipping as well as Saurombe and Gonzalez
both got first round byes and started in the quarterfinals.
Kafarela/Kipping battled hard against Clerihew/Vechione of Seminole, but
went down in the end 8-5 to get knocked from the draw.
Saurombe/Gonzalez had better luck against Bridges/Brown, atoning for
their teammates earlier loss with an 8-4 win to move them to the semis.
The 3rd seeded Saints faced a stiff test in 2nd seeded Busby/Moore in
the round of four. Saurombe/Gonzalez played a grinder against the pair,
going the distance in a tight 8-6 upset win to reach the tournament
finals yet again. In the final Seward's top duo took on what could be
the #1 ranked team in the nation in the upcoming rankings in
Surduk/Tapfuma of Seminole State. The Saints fell behind early,
dropping the first 6-2 and never recovered as the Trojans top squad kept
the championship trophy in Oklahoma with a 6-3 win in the second to
force Saurombe/Gonzalez to settled for 2nd place.
While disappointed with their loss, Saurombe/Gonzalez
will still hold out hope of receiving one of two "wild card" entries to
next week's ITA National Tournament in Florida.
The Saints finish the tournament with a 5-9 match record
and are now 52-40 overall in matches this fall. Next up for the guys in
green is a trip to Winfield, Kansas on Saturday where they will take on
Southwestern College at 1:00. While it certainly wasn't a bad weekend, the Seward
County Lady Saints came up short in their ultimate goal of an ITA
Regional Championship this weekend in Oklahoma City. After winning a
boatload of titles in their past two weekends, the Lady Saints came home
empty handed after their biggest tournament of the fall. Paula Lopez
and Paula Coyos led the Lady Saints, reaching the finals in doubles and
Lopez, the semifinals in singles, before falling to nationally ranked
foes to end their weekend.
Seward sent seven players into the mix in singles action
against competition from Seminole State and Cowley. The Lady Saints
picked up two first round wins in the tournament as Paula Coyos defeated
Sherrill Marble of Seminole State 6-0, 6-1 and Paula Lopez downed Jordan
Baker, also of Seminole, 6-0, 6-0 to move onto the quarterfinals.
Jackie Arnold was defeated 6-0, 6-0 by 4th seeded Shawnee Ann-Brelsford
of Seminole State, Kathryn Roohan was knocked off 6-0, 6-2 by Sarah
Giraldo of Cowley, Naomie Bukassa was beaten 6-4, 6-0 by Ashley Bryen of
Seminole State, and Vipavee Ngamsiri lost a nailbiter 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 to
Hannah Tomlinson of Seminole to be eliminated from the main draw.
In the quarterfinals Coyos matched up against Ana Ruzir
of Cowley, who ended 2013 ranked 6th in the ITA Rankings. Coyos could
never get things going, falling to Ruzir by matching 6-2 scores to
finish her run at the tournament. Lopez had better luck, easily
defeating Giraldo without losing a game, 6-0, 6-0 to earn her way into
the semifinals. Lopez struggled to find a rhythm against Helga
Pinones-Haltenhoff of Seminole State in the semis as the tournament was
forced inside due to rain. Haltenhoff blanked Lopez in the first 6-0
before knocking her off 6-4 in the second set to end Lopez's tournament
in 3rd place.
In the consolation draw Roohan earned a win over Jordan
Baker of Seminole State 6-0, 6-2 while Ngamsiri defeated Arnold in
another consolation match 7-6, inj.
In an eight team doubles field, the Lady Saints sent
three duo's to the court. Arnold and Grace Golden were the first to
play and were knocked out in the first round 8-2 by Seminole's combo of
Bryen/Marble. Also going down in the opening round was Ngamsiri and
Roohan for Seward as they hung tough before bowing out 8-3 to
Brown/Ruzir of Cowley. The Lady Saints lone first round win came from
Coyos and Lopez who had no trouble with Baker/Hurta of Seminole in their
first match of the tournament, winning 8-1 to reach the final four. In
their semifinal match the competition ramped up for Coyos/Lopez as they
battled Brown/Ruzir from Cowley. Coyos was able to get revenge from an
earlier loss in singles play to Ruzir as the Lady Saints duo bounced
Cowley's top team from the tournament with an 8-4 win. With a trip to
the ITA National Tournament on the line, Coyos/Lopez met up with
Brelsford/Haltenhoff of Seminole in the final. The Trojans were able to
capture a close first set 6-4 before breaking Seward twice to win the
second 6-2 to win the championship.
The Lady Saints finish the ITA Regional with a 7-11
overall record and see their total match record for the fall move to
46-49 on the year. Next up Seward travels to Winfield, Kansas where
they will battle Southwestern on Saturday at 1:00.