ELLINWOOD – A couple days after breaking through and winning close matches on the way to its first dual win of the season, the Barton men’s tennis team was back to its old habits against Bethel College.
The Cougars lost the close matches and thus the dual as the Thrashers won 6-3.
Barton lost a pair of close singles matches that could have flipped the outcome to the Cougars favor.
“We played pretty well today, but, once again we couldn’t win the tight matches,” Barton coach Lyle Stickney said. “We lost two very competitive matches that went to tiebreaks and that was the difference in the dual.”
But just as importantly, Barton was swept in the doubles matches. The Cougars ended up splitting the six singles matches but couldn’t pick up a win in doubles.
Lucas Castelani, Ray Strunk and Cole Hardin all picked up wins in singles.
Castelani earned the win at No. 1 singles, winning the first set 6-4 then rolling to a 6-0 win in the second set over Davian Lightbourne.
Strunk continued his steady play with a win at No. 4 singles. Strunk had a pretty easy day with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Grant Bellar.
“Ray had a solid day and improved his season’s singles record to 5-4,” Coach Stickney said.
Hardin captured the win at No. 6 singles over Preston Gapter by a 6-2, 6-3 count.
Triston Herbst and Connick Roe hooked up in a battle at No. 5 singles. It was Roe who won in the end with a 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 win that was tight throughout the match.
Also battling before coming up short was Luis Soares at No. 2 singles. Soares wasn’t able to win a set but lost a close match to Gabe Johnson, 7-6, 6-3.
Bethel’s Jenson Kingsley defeated Sam Barker at No. 3 singles, winning 6-1, 6-3.
The doubles were fruitless matches for the Cougars.
Castelani and Barker lost at No. 1 to Lightbourne and Johnson, 8-4. Soares and Strunk lost by that same 8-4 margin at No. 2 doubles to Kingsley and Chris Soosalu.
The closest doubles match of the day was at No. 3 where Hardin and Herbst lost 8-5 to Tyler Shima and Bellar.
The Cougars will be back on the court Monday when they travel to Arkansas City to take on Cowley starting at 10 am.