Seward’s Jans and Wurth Headed to ITA Nationals

Brock Kappelmann - October 2, 2019 6:47 am

Kenny Hernandez

Liberal Kan- The Seward  County Community College Men’s Tennis Players Sander Jans and Karl Wurth win the doubles draw at the ITA Regional and Jans also wins the Singles draw to claim their spots in the National Tournament. With both the doubles draw and the singles draw having all Saints players in the finals the doubles team of Gabriel Ortiz and Raul Centeno, and on the singles side Gabriel Ortiz, will await a wild card bid.

This past weekend the Tennis programs traveled to Fort Dodge Iowa to compete in the ITA Central Regional Championship and competed against Barton Community College, Cowley Community College, and Iowa Central Community College who hosted the event. The tournament was set up with only one draw for doubles and singles on both the Men’s and Women’s side. With the winner getting an automatic bid to the National Tournament and the runner ups receiving an opportunity for a wild card bid depending on the other Regional results.

For Women’s single side the Lady Saints would have Maria Garcia making it to the semifinals of the Women’s single draw. During her run she would knock off the number one seed in the draw Takalani Molaoa from Cowley Community College in a three-set battle of 4-6, 6-1, and 7-5. Grecia would fall 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals to Ane Ibarra from Cowley. This would be the best performance for the Lady Saints as they will not have a player representing Seward County in the Women’s National Tournament this year.

For the Men’s Single draw, the Saints had four out of the top eight players seeded in the 32-player bracket. This proved to be an accurate depiction of the draw as the Saints would have six out of the last eight players remining in the quarterfinals. The top half of the draw was all Saints with Raul Centeno losing to his teammate Sander Jans, and Francisco Vargas losing to fellow Saint Karl Wurth in the quarterfinals. This would lead to a Semifinals with Saints Karl Wurth losing to Sander Jans.

The Bottom half of the draw Gabriel Ortiz would prevail to make it to the finals to face off against Sander Jans for an opportunity at an automatic bid to the National Tournament. Sander Jans would prevail over Ortiz in a 6-1, 7-5 championship victory and will be representing Seward County at the National Tournament in Rome, Georgia. Gabriel Ortiz will wait to see if he receives a wild card bid for the Tournament as we see the results from the other ITA Regional Championships.

On the doubles side the Saints would have two teams seeded in the top three with the number one seed in Sander Jans and Karl Wurth, and the third seed being Gabriel Ortiz and Raul Centeno. Once again, it would be an all Saints final on the doubles side with Sander Jans and Karl Wurth defeating Ortiz and Centeno 6-3, 7-6. Sander Jans won last year’s Doubles National Championship and will be in the Tournament again this year looking to repeat his title. Gabriel Ortiz and Raul Centeno will have an opportunity to get a wild card birth to the National Tournament but will have to wait for the other ITA Regional results.

The Saints will have Sander Jans and Karl Wurth competing for a Doubles National Championship and Sander Jans also in the Men’s Single Draw. We await the results of the other ITA Regional Championships to see if Gabriel Ortiz and Raul Centeno will join them in Rome, Georgia. The National Tournament will be on Thursday October 17th, 18th, and 19th. The Men’s and Women’s teams will be back on the road this weekend for their final tournament of the Fall season as they head to the Oral Roberts Invitational this Friday and Saturday to compete one last time this fall season as a team.


Kenny Hernandez


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