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Seward Men and Women Bring Home ITA Championships

Brock Kappelmann - October 3, 2016 7:10 am

While the Seward County Saints Men’s Tennis team has a shiny ITA National Championship trophy setting in their trophy case, one thing continued to elude the program, until Sunday that was.  Carlos Anez and Ondrej Nice gutted through a tough three set match in the championship round of the weekend’s ITA Region Tournament in Oklahoma City, knocking off top seeded Seminole State 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to bring home the Saints first ITA Regional Title on the men’s side in program history.

Seeded second in the doubles draw, Anez and Nice received one of six first round byes to advance to the second round of action where they matched up against Jayhawk Conference rivals Julien Aubry and Lukas Michenka of Cowley.  The Saints pair looked like they were in trouble after dropping the first set 6-4 to the Tigers, but Anez and Nice squeaked out a 7-5 win in the second to remain alive and outlasted the Cowley combo 10-4 in the tiebreak to win the match 2-1 and push through to the semis.  In the final four the Saints met up with two familiar faces as they squared off against teammates Przemek Zielinski and Gabriel Nery who picked up a first round bye and won a three setter in the quarters just as Anez and Nice had.  The friendly battle wasn’t much of a battle at all as Anez and Nice easily rolled to the final with a 6-2, 6-0 win over their teammates, pressing onto the title match on Sunday.  On the other side of the bracket, there was more success from the green and white as Ngoni Makambwa and Renato Santos also advanced to the semifinals, giving Seward three of the four pairs in the round of four.  Unfortunately for the Saints, Makambwa and Santos weren’t able to make it an all Seward final as they fell 6-1, 7-6 to top seeded Seminole, but Anez and Nice got revenge for their teammates in the championship match on Sunday, upsetting the #1 seeds 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to claim the first ITA Regional Championship in Seward County program history.

Seward sent eight players to the draw in singles play.  Seven of the eight Saints advanced to the second round, four with byes and three with straight set victories.  Advancing to the quarterfinals were four Seward players including Ondrej Nice, Ngoni Makambwa, Przemek Zielinski, and Carlos Anez.  In the quarters, Makambwa dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to third seeded Chisomo Lumeta of Seminole while Nice got past Lucas Freitas of Cowley 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the semifinal round.  The draw played out where Zielinski and Anez were forced to go head to head in the bottom of the draw with Anez coming from behind to knock his teammate out with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 victory to join Nice in the semis.  Nice’s tournament came to an end as he fell 6-3, 6-2 to top seeded Ismeal Mzai of Seminole while Anez won the other Seward/Seminole semi with a 6-4, 5-3, def. win over Lumeta to earn his way into the title match.  In the championship match, it was Mzai earning his second straight win against the Saints, downing Anez 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 to end the run for Seward’s top gun. Anez will now await word as he tries to earn a Wild Card berth into the National Tournament.

The dynamic duo of Anez and Nice will now have the opportunity to vie for an ITA National Championship October 13-16 in Surprise, Arizona.

Seward will be back in action as a team next weekend when they travel to Plano, Texas to take part in the Colin County Invitational.

SEWARD WOMEN

While the Seward County Saints Men’s Tennis team has a shiny ITA National Championship trophy setting in their trophy case, one thing continued to elude the program, until Sunday that was.  Carlos Anez and Ondrej Nice gutted through a tough three set match in the championship round of the weekend’s ITA Region Tournament in Oklahoma City, knocking off top seeded Seminole State 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to bring home the Saints first ITA Regional Title on the men’s side in program history.

Seeded second in the doubles draw, Anez and Nice received one of six first round byes to advance to the second round of action where they matched up against Jayhawk Conference rivals Julien Aubry and Lukas Michenka of Cowley.  The Saints pair looked like they were in trouble after dropping the first set 6-4 to the Tigers, but Anez and Nice squeaked out a 7-5 win in the second to remain alive and outlasted the Cowley combo 10-4 in the tiebreak to win the match 2-1 and push through to the semis.  In the final four the Saints met up with two familiar faces as they squared off against teammates Przemek Zielinski and Gabriel Nery who picked up a first round bye and won a three setter in the quarters just as Anez and Nice had.  The friendly battle wasn’t much of a battle at all as Anez and Nice easily rolled to the final with a 6-2, 6-0 win over their teammates, pressing onto the title match on Sunday.  On the other side of the bracket, there was more success from the green and white as Ngoni Makambwa and Renato Santos also advanced to the semifinals, giving Seward three of the four pairs in the round of four.  Unfortunately for the Saints, Makambwa and Santos weren’t able to make it an all Seward final as they fell 6-1, 7-6 to top seeded Seminole, but Anez and Nice got revenge for their teammates in the championship match on Sunday, upsetting the #1 seeds 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 to claim the first ITA Regional Championship in Seward County program history.

Seward sent eight players to the draw in singles play.  Seven of the eight Saints advanced to the second round, four with byes and three with straight set victories.  Advancing to the quarterfinals were four Seward players including Ondrej Nice, Ngoni Makambwa, Przemek Zielinski, and Carlos Anez.  In the quarters, Makambwa dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to third seeded Chisomo Lumeta of Seminole while Nice got past Lucas Freitas of Cowley 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the semifinal round.  The draw played out where Zielinski and Anez were forced to go head to head in the bottom of the draw with Anez coming from behind to knock his teammate out with a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 victory to join Nice in the semis.  Nice’s tournament came to an end as he fell 6-3, 6-2 to top seeded Ismeal Mzai of Seminole while Anez won the other Seward/Seminole semi with a 6-4, 5-3, def. win over Lumeta to earn his way into the title match.  In the championship match, it was Mzai earning his second straight win against the Saints, downing Anez 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 to end the run for Seward’s top gun. Anez will now await word as he tries to earn a Wild Card berth into the National Tournament.

The dynamic duo of Anez and Nice will now have the opportunity to vie for an ITA National Championship October 13-16 in Surprise, Arizona.

Seward will be back in action as a team next weekend when they travel to Plano, Texas to take part in the Colin County Invitational.

Roy Allen

 

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