Seward County freshman Paula Coyos is having one heck of a run at her first NJCAA National Tournament this week. Tuesday, the Argentinian rookie picked up wins at #2 singles and paired with Paula Lopez at #1 doubles for a victory to reach the final four in both brackets. After three days of the tournament, the Lady Saints are tied for 14th as a team.
The Lady Saints first player to take the court on Tuesday was Paula Lopez in the #1 singles draw. Valiantly battling through an injury, 6th seeded Lopez had trouble ever getting on track against 3rd seeded Niriantsa Rasolomalala or Georgia Perimeter in the quarterfinal round as she was blanked in the opening set 6-0 before dropping the second 6-2 to end her tournament in 5th place. Despite the loss, Lopez is expected to be named an All-American as a top 10 ranked player at seasons end.
In #2 singles, Paula Coyos continued to rack up points for the Lady Saints. Coyos took the court for an early morning battle with Olivia Friandsson of St. Petersburg and kept her roll going. Coyos and Friandsson battled in a first set that saw a 7-6 decision go to the way of the Seward freshman and she carried the momentum into the second set, winning 6-4 to take the match and move onto the semifinals. Coyos will now go up against top seeded Fatyha Berjane of Georgia Perimeter on Wednesday morning with a berth to the National Championship and a likely All-American bid on the line.
In the #4 singles consolation bracket, Jackie Arnold took the court for Seward. Arnold squared off against Claudia Maka of Moraine Valley and took a close 8-6 match to work her way to the semifinal of the consolation draw where she will take on Carolina Hernandez of Jacksonville on Wednesday.
The Lady Saints #1 doubles team of Lopez and Coyos continued to put on a show Tuesday afternoon in the Texas heat. After reaching the quarterfinal round with little resistance, their #2 seeded road got tougher as they took on 7th seeded Anghelescu/Rasolomalala from Georgia Perimeter. Seward won the first set rather easily 6-3, but couldn't close the second set as the Jaguars top duo squeaked out a 7-6 win to force a deciding third set. In the third set it was all Seward as Lopez got revenge on Rasolomalala for a singles loss earlier in the day and Coyos marched onto her second semifinal with a 6-3 win to take the match 2-1. The pair will take the court once again on Wednesday when they take on 3rd seeded ASA with a trip to the title match on the line. The quarterfinal win all but assures Lopez and Coyos of All-American honors at seasons end.
The final players to hit the court for Seward were Arnold and Kathryn Roohan at #2 doubles. The pair squared off against Allard/Stevenson from Lewis & Clark in the consolation quarters and came out on the wrong end of a close and hard fought 8-6 decision to end their tournament in 5th place in the back draw.
Seward rises three spots to 14th place overall with 14 points after day three of the tournament. Seward is tied in 14th place with Meridian and Snead State and is just 0.5 points in front of Pima while there is a sizeable gap of 2.0 points separating them from a jump to the #13 spot where Temple resides. Tyler continues to lead the tournament with 36 points while Region VI rival Cowley sits in 5th place with 24 points.
COMPLETE 2014 NJCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT RESULTS<http://www.apacheathletics.com/f/NJCAA_D1_Womens_Tennis_National_Tournament_Schedule_and_Results.php>