Missed Opportunities Cost Saints Tennis vs. Cowley

KSCB News - March 29, 2016 6:18 am

The 4th ranked Seward County Saints will go to sleep tonight with thoughts of their biggest win of the year slipping right through their fingertips as #7 Cowley came to town Monday and knocked the Saints off 5-4 at Blue Bonnet Park, handing Seward their first loss of the 2016 season.

It was a heated atmosphere from the start as the Saints and Tigers hooked up Monday in Jayhawk Conference action. The two got things going with doubles play where all three matches went in the books 8-5. Cowley earned the first two points of the day, as Cowley’s Lucas Freitas and Jorge Godoy picked up the win at #1 over Seward’s Przemek Zielinski and Alex Mosehle while the Tigers Lukas Michenka and Toby Timms won against the Saints Carlos Anez and Ondrej Nice to hand both of Seward’s pairs their first losses of the season. Tied 5-5 and in jeopardy of going down 3-0 in the match, the Saints Alvaro Rengifo and Ngoni Makambwa won the final three games to put a point on the board for Seward and cut the Cowley lead to 2-1 after doubles action.

Cowley went back up by two as singles play got going with 11th ranked Vincent Reynaud sweeping 10th ranked Przemek Zielinski 6-2, 6-2 at #2 to put the Tigers up 3-1. In an exciting match at #1, Seward’s Carlos Anez outlasted Cowley’s Lucas Freitas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a third set tiebreak to get the Saints back to within one at 3-2. The Saints looked like they would tie things up with another tally at #3 singles, but Ondrej Nice couldn’t hold onto a 6-0, 5-1 lead, eventually dropping six straight games in the second and then the third 6-4 to fall and give the Tigers a 4-2 advantage. With three spots left to play, the Saints needed to sweep the action from there on out and Ngoni Makambwa and Alex Mosehle got Seward 2/3rds of the way there, winning 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-4 respectively at #5 and #4 to even the match at 4-4. The final match of the dual to finish was at #6 singles where Seward’s Felipe Casares took on Cowley’s Marcelo Baldarrama. With all eyes on them and a spirited cheering section for both sides, Casares owned the first set, winning 6-3 to take the early lead in the winner take all match. Up 4-3 in the second looking to close, Casares couldn’t hold serve as he was broken twice by Baldarrama and eventually fell 6-4 to send the match to another third set tiebreak. With both players battling fatigue, it was Baldarrama who was able to beat the elements and his opponent, cruising in the third 6-1 to win the match 2-1 and seal the dual win for the Tigers 5-4.

The Saints taste defeat for the first time all year, falling to 12-1 while Cowley picks up the big win to improve to 8-6. Seward loses five matches in the dual after dropping just eight total in their first 12 duals of the season.

Seward makes the long trip to Arkadelphia, Arkansas on Wednesday to take on NCAA Division II foe Ouachita Baptist before stopping back in Oklahoma City over the weekend to take part in the Seminole State Dual Match Classic.

#4 SEWARD COUNTY/#7 COWLEY MATCH RESULTS<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/mten/2015-16/files/SewardCowleyM2016.pdf>

Despite a mismatch on paper between the 15-0 and 4th ranked Seward County Lady Saints and the 4-7 and 9th ranked Cowley Lady Tigers, everyone around the two programs knew that Monday’s dual between the two Jayhawk Conference rivals would be a battle. A battle it was, coming down to the final two singles matches, unfortunately for the Lady Saints, they were only able to pull out one of the victories as the Tigers hung on for a 5-4 upset win to hand Seward their first loss of the 2016 season.

Tensions were high from the start as Seward and Cowley got things underway with doubles action. The first point to be put on the board came at #3 where Madison Hoelting and Tadi Mrewa easily handled Stormi Tipton and Peyton Adams 8-1 to improve to 14-0 on the year and give Seward an early 1-0 lead in the match. At #1 it was the Lady Saints sisterly combo of Mialiniaina Rakotondrazafy and Maminiaina Rakotondrazafy taking on fellow French duo Sarah Frendo and Eva Forneiron. Cowley jumped ahead early and never looked back, hanging on for an 8-5 win to even the match at 1. The final doubles match on either side to get done was at #2 where Thalita Rodrigues and Nthabi Mogopodi outlasted Sara Petric and Andjela Rajovic in a tiebreak 9-8 (2) to put Seward up 2-1 going into singles play.

Seward looked like they were in control of the match as Rodrigues picked up a straight set, 6-2, 7-6 (4) win at #2 singles over 30th ranked Forneiron to put the Lady Saints ahead 3-1. The Tigers fought back though, picking up a 6-3, 6-3 win at #3 and a come from behind 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory at #1 to even the match at 3 all. The Lady Saints struggles continued as Mogopodi dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision at #4 to give Cowley their first lead of the match at 4-3. With two singles matches left and the Lady Saints needing them both for the win, Seward was only able to pick up one, falling 6-0, 6-3 at #5 as the Tigers clinched the win before Tadi Mrewa wrapped things up with a 6-4, 6-4 win for Seward to improve to 11-0 on the year and make it a 5-4 final.

The #4 Lady Saints drop their first match of the season to fall to 15-1 on the year while #9 Cowley improves to 5-9 with the victory.

Seward will hit the road for their longest road trip of the season on Wednesday when they travel to Arkadelphia, Arkansas to take on NCAA Division II foes Ouachita Baptist and Henderson State.

#4 SEWARD COUNTY/#9 COWLEY MATCH RESULTS<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wten/2015-16/files/SewardCowleyW2016.pdf>


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