Saints Win Second Straight Region 6 Tennis Title
KSCB News - May 2, 2016 6:33 am
For the first time in program history, the Seward County Saints have won back to back NJCAA Region VI Championships after the guys in green came from behind for a one point win over rivals Cowley on a chilly Sunday morning at Blue Bonnet Park in Liberal.
In a late change of plan, doubles play kicked off action at the tournament on Championship Sunday. In #1 doubles, the Saints struggled as Cowley’s top pair of Jorge Godoy and Lucas Freitas easily cruised past Seward’s Przemek Zielinski and Felipe Casares 6-2, 6-4 to take the early 10-9 lead in the standings.
At #2 doubles, Carlos Anez and Ondrej Nice took the court for Seward, grinding out a 7-5 first set win over Cowley’s Lukas Michenka and Toby Timms. With momentum on their side, Anez and Nice rolled to a 6-2 win in the second to take the match and earn the Region VI Championship.
The final doubles championship left on the line was at #3 where Seward’s Alex Mosehle and Ngoni Makambwa battled Cowley’s Vincent Reynaud and Christian Borrero. Cowley looked in control with a 6-2 win in the first, but the Saints battled back behind a rowdy home crowd to take the second 6-3 and send the match to a deciding third set. The third went as far as it could with Cowley eventually pulling out a 7-6 (2) win to take the match 2-1 and grab an 11-10 lead going into singles play.
The top two singles players in tournament battled for the coveted Region VI Title in the top spot at #1 singles as Seward’s Carlos Anez took on Cowley’s Vincent Reynaud. Anez made things look easy in the first, winning 6-1 to take the early advantage, but faced a 4-3 deficit in the second before storming back to win 6-4 to capture his second Region VI Championship of the day.
Przemek Zielinski grinded for the Saints at #2 singles, but just couldn’t get over the hump as he took on Cowley’s Lucas Freitas for the title. Freitas controlled the first, winning 6-3, but Zielinski didn’t roll over, winning five games in the second before eventually falling 7-5 to give the Tigers the point.
In the #3 draw, the Saints looked like they were in trouble as Cowley’s Jose Castro held a 4-1 early lead in the first against Seward’s Ondrej Nice. But Nice stormed back, winning the next three games to even the score at four before pushing to the finish line and closing Castro out 6-4 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Now rolling, Nice collected a 6-3 win in the second to collect a point for the Saints and collect a Region VI Championship for himself.
In a matchup of physical David vs. Goliath, Seward’s Alex Mosehle looked to defend his top seed against Cowley’s imposing #4 man Lukas Michenka. Michenka pulled out a 6-4 first set win, but Mosehle responded with a 6-1 win of his own in the second to even the match at one. In the third, behind a building crowd, the two battled to a 6-6 tie before Michenka finally pulled out a 7-4 win in the tiebreak to take the match 2-1.
Seward’s most impressive singles win came at #5 where Felipe Casares had no trouble with Cowley’s Jorge Godoy, winning 6-3, 6-2 to win his second straight individual Region VI Championship for the Saints.
The clinching point came at #6 singles where Seward’s Ngoni Makambwa took on Cowley’s Marcelo Baldarrama. In the Saints and Tigers two regular season matches of 2016, Baldarrama earned clinching wins for Cowley, but today was the Saints day. Makambwa quietly owned the first, winning 6-2 and made short work of Baldarrama in the second, blanking him 6-0 to send the Saints into a fury as they claimed their second straight NJCAA Region VI Championship.
Seward finished the tournament with 14 points to earn their second straight crown while Cowley came up one point short with 13 and Hesston checked in third with 4 while Barton managed just 0.5 on the weekend.
The Saints will now try their luck against the nation’s best in Plano, Texas in two weeks when they begin the NJCAA National Tournament May 16th.
COMPLETE 2016 NJCAA REGION VI TOURNAMENT RESULTS<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/mten/2015-16/releases/20160428jccjhk>