It was pretty clear what the Barton men’s tennis team needed to do to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Region VI Championships was going to come down to a pair of battles. Seward County and Cowley were going to battle for the title. Barton and Hesston were going to battle for third place and a spot at the NJCAA Championships.
Unfortunately for Barton, that battle didn’t go their way.
Host Seward edged Cowley for the title while Hesston easily took third, ending Barton’s season.
Seward finished with 14 points, Cowley 13, Hesston four and Barton just 0.5.
The lone win for Barton at the Region VI Championships came at No. 2 doubles, where Luis Soares and Ray Strunk took third. The duo defeated Hesston’s Caleb Schrock and Andry Stutzman in the third place match, 7-5 and 6-2.
The rest of the Cougars went 0-2 on the meet.
Every third place match was between Barton and Hesston, meaning the Cougars needed to win five of those nine matches to advance.
Several of the singles matches were close.
Strunk lost his third place match at No. 4 singles to Josiah Borst, 7-6, 6-3. Tristan Herbst lost at No. 5 singles to Stutzman, 6-2, 6-4. Cole Hardin lost his third place match at No. 6 singles to Yuki Torri, 7-6, 6-2.
Lucas Castalini and Soares gave good second set battles after being blanked in the first set at No. 1 and No. 3. Castalini lost 6-0, 6-3 while Soares lost 6-0, 6-4.
Herbst and Hardin were also close at No. 3 doubles, losing to Borst and Trevor Oyer, 6-4, 6-3.