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Seward Tennis Opens Fall Season
09/20/2010

With three returning sophomores and four new players

ready to don the green and white, the Seward County Lady Saints Tennis

team kicked off their 2010-2011 season last Friday in Oklahoma City and

put up a good showing against some of the best players from around the

region. The Lady Saints finished with 12 wins including four singles

players reaching the semifinals or consolation semifinals or deeper and

all three doubles teams accomplishing the same feat. On the day Seward

ended up 6-10 in singles action and 6-4 in doubles.

The Lady Saints placed a pair of players in the #1

singles bracket as Dariya Dashutina and 2010 NJCAA Freshman of the Year

Fanny Benincasa started play on the opposite side of the draw from each

other. Dashutina first matched up with Lisa Olian from Dallas Baptist

University and quickly advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Her second match came against Calia Respaut, the 3rd seeded player in

the bracket from Seminole State. Dashutina and Respaut went back and

forth through the first set and the Trojans Respaut narrowly came out

ahead 7-6 in a tiebreak. In the second set, Dashutina again played the

eventual tournament champion close but fell 6-3 to end her tournament

in 5th place. On the other side of the bracket, Benincasa dropped her

first match to Faiga Schmidt of Southwest Baptist 6-2, 7-5 but then came

back in the consolation bracket to win her first match there 8-2 over

Elly Johnson of Friends University. She then moved on to the second

round where she received a bye which set up a match against Karla

Martinez of New Mexico Military in the semis. Benincasa and Martinez

played a close match, going back and forth to the end but Martinez would

just edge out Benincasa at the end as she came away with an 8-6 victory.

Marcela Abrantes was the Lady Saints representative in

#4 singles play and would drop her first match of the day 6-4, 6-1 to

Melissa Reynolds of Oklahoma Wesleyan in the first round. She wouldn't

let it get her down though as she fought back in the consolation bracket

to reach the final after an 8-3 win over Allison Gerber of Newman

University in the first round and then an 8-4 decision over Diana Barns

of Oklahoma Baptist in the semis. In the finals she would be pitted

against Alyssa Hawkins of New Mexico Military and would play maybe the

best match of the day as it took 5 tie break sets to determine it before

Hawkins came out the victor 9-8 (2) to win the championship.

In #5 singles it was Lindy Kowalchuk that drew the call

and she would play a drawn out first round match against Jessica Evans

of Cowley that she would come out on top of 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 to advance to

the round of eight. In the second round Kowalchuk squared off with 2nd

seeded Samantha Haight of North Central Texas and Haight was dominate,

winning 6-0, 6-0 to put Kowalchuk 5th for the tournament.

Seward's #3 player Kauana Goncalves played the OKC Open

in the #2 singles bracket and after falling 6-0, 6-1 to Elise

Burnett-Godfree, turned things around with a 3rd place finish in the

consolation bracket after a loss to 3rd seeded Hannah Innes in the semis

8-5.

Caitlin Workman, another Lady Saint playing in her first

collegiate action of her career finished 5th in the #6 singles bracket

after picking up an upset victory over 3rd seeded Amber Evans of Collin

County before falling to Anna Le of Newman University in the quarters

6-1, 6-1.

In #3 singles play, Salitza Abrantes represented the

Lady Saints and went up against a tough draw, as she was matched with

2nd seeded Natalie Friend from Abilene Christian in the first round

where she lost 6-0, 6-0 and then against Mariana Rosa of Oklahoma

Baptist in the first round of the consolation bracket where she lost 8-1

to end her day.

In doubles play, the Lady Saints top two players in

Dashutina and Benincasa teamed up to make what should be expected to be

one of the top doubles teams in the country this season. The pair took

care of Zinnia Leamana and Kelsey Rebin of Collin County 8-4 and upset

the 3rd seeded team in the bracket Hannah Kelley and Cassie Carver of

Abilene Christian 8-6 to move to the semifinals. In the semis the two

ran up against Lilian Fereirra and Paola Costa who were open entrants

into the tournament and fell 8-4 to end their tournament in 3rd place.

In #2 doubles action Abrantes and Goncalves paired to

take on Micah Hermsdorf and Madelyn Walker of Abilene Christian

University where they fell 8-2 to send them to the consolation bracket.

In the consolation bracket however, the duo put on a show, defeating

Katie Metcalf and Amber Owens of Collin County in the first round 8-5

and then receiving a bye to get to the round of four. In the semis they

found themselves across the net from Emily Jones and Ashley Dunham and

dropped the pair from Newman University 8-5 to march on to the title

match. In the championship match they went up against Alyssa Hawkins

and Adalyn Hazelman of New Mexico Military who had won their previous

three matches 8-0, 8-0, and 8-0 to reach the finals. The Seward County

duo of Abrantes and Goncalves weren't about to let that happen to them

though as they raced out to an early lead before closing the door 8-6 to

win the championship.

The feel good story of the day came in the #3 doubles

bracket for Seward County as Kowalchuk and Abrantes paired on the

bottom half of the bracket and Workman teamed up with Erica Pope of

Seminole State to form a team on the top half of the draw. Workman and

Pope got together as a result of both Seward and Seminole having an odd

number of players at the tournament and therefore didn't have their

normal doubles partner there to play with them. Never having played

together the pair played extremely well as they lost a nail biter in the

first round to Katie Klausmey and Anna Le of Newman University 8-6 and

then fell 8-1 against the 4th seeded team of Jess Cossari and Monica

Lunardi of North Central Texas in the first round of the consolation

bracket in their final match. Kowalchuk and Abrantes played one of the

closest matches of the day in their first round matchup with Selby

Cornejo and Jessica Evans of Cowley as the teams went back and forth for

17 sets before the Tiger pair of Evans and Cornejo eventually came out

the victors of a 9-8 decision. In the consolation bracket Kowalchuk and

Abrantes were given a win in the first round over 2nd seeded Collin

County when Regan Perme and Fernanada Estrauzalus were stopped from

continuing with an injury and then got the second round off with a bye

to move to the semis. In the semifinal round the Lady Saints went up

against 3rd seeded Samantha Dunn and Bailey Martinez of New Mexico

Military and found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-3 score to finish

them in 3rd place in the consolation bracket.

Men' tennis

After a successful first weekend of the season, the

Seward County Saints Men's Tennis team was excited to hit the court

again Tuesday as it traveled to Wichita to take on the Newman University

Jets. What the young Saints squad lacked in experience against the

4-year University Jets, they made up for with their skills as they

cruised to a 12-1 victory on the day in their first dual of the season.

The Saints were a perfect 9-0 in singles play on the day

but not without a little bit of drama early on the afternoon. Laericeo

Lobo played out of the #1 spot for the Saints and had to come back from

an 0-1 deficit after falling 6-2 in the first set to Jimmy Dunseith.

Lobo got things together and returned the favor on Dunseith 6-2 in the

second set to even things at 1 apiece and then won the tie break 10-5 to

come away with the win. Seward's #2 player Nathan Nelmes faced the same

situation as Lobo did earlier as he fell 6-4 in the first set but came

back with a 6-1 statement win in the second set against Chris Copenhauer

to even things up. Nelmes then took the momentum to the 3rd and final

set where he won 10-5 as well to pick up the victory. A common theme on

the day, Felipe Cruz followed his teammates footsteps in his first set

against Kevin Klein by losing 6-3 and turning around for a big 6-1 2nd

set win to knot things up. In the tie break Cruz and Klein battled back

and forth with Cruz coming away with the 10-8 win. The rest of the

Saints decided it would be more fun to just go ahead and take care of

business and be done with it as Raphael Machado, Cristiano Mendes, Lucas

Ikovitz, Eduardo Munoz, Alex Richards and Rafael Raw all won in straight

sets to put the Saints a perfect 9-0 in singles play. Machado defeated

Victor Bello 6-1, 6-4 while Mendes handled Nathan Peters easily 6-1, 6-2

to cruise to a victory. Izkovitz beat Andrew Haralson by matching 6-1

scores and Munoz beat Derek Emmert 6-3, 6-1. Richards took care of

Jered Ferris in a close match 6-3, 7-5 and Raw wrapped things up with a

6-2, 6-2 win over Daniel Dragomirov.

In doubles action the Saints had to work a little bit

harder as Lobo and Nelmes kicked things off with a 9-8 (7-2) thriller

win over Dunseith and Bello before the Saints only loss came at the

hands of Copenhauer and Klein who beat Cruz and Machado 8-6. Mendes

and Izkovitz had no problem with Ferris and Haralson, winning 8-3 and

Munoz and Raw teamed to knock off Dragomirov and Emmert 8-4 in the final

match of the day.

The Saints next action comes this weekend as they travel

to the Bethany Tournament in Lindsborg to play on Friday and Saturday.

© Copyright KSCB News
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