It wasn’t a weekend to remember for the Barton men’s tennis team. The Cougars took on a pair of good NAIA schools over the weekend, including a Top 20 team.
The results was a pair of losses. Barton lost 7-2 to Tabor Thursday in Hillsboro then were blanked 9-0 by Bethany on Saturday.
In the loss to Tabor, Barton had its chances to win in several matches. Only twice were the Cougars swept in straight sets.
“There wasn’t a poorly played match today by any of our men, yet we lost 2-7 as a team,” Coach Lyle Stickney said. “Five of those losses came in tiebreakers and that was the difference in winning the team dual. Our teams were very evenly matched”.
The two matches Barton won were at No. 2 doubles and No. 4 singles. Both of those matches involved Ray Strunk.
“Ray had another good day, he’s won both of his last two singles and doubles matches,” Stickney said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to sustain this level of play”.
Strunk teamed with Luis Soares to win a close battle in doubles. The tandem won 8-6 over Tabor’s Reggie Koop and Stephen Wilson. Struck defeated Koop in singles, 6-1, 6-2.
The lone singles match Barton was swept at was No. 1 singles and that was close. Lucas Castelani lost 6-4, 6-4 to Illia Filanchuk.
The other four singles matches – all won by Tabor, came down a tiebreaker. Soares lost his tiebreaker at No. 2 singles to Angel Miguel, 10-8. Sam Barker los the tiebreaker at No. 3, 10-4. Triston Herbst lost 10-6 in the tiebreaker at No. 5 and Cole Hardin lost 10-5 at No. 6.
Herbst and Hardin also lost in a tiebreaker at No. 3 doubles to Harrison Faber and Jeff Pritchard, 9-8 (7-4).
Saturday wasn’t as productive for the Cougars.
“Bethany is really good at one and two, but they’re solid all the way through their line-up,” Coach Stickney said. “They are a top 20 team.”
Barton lost all six singles matches in straight sets and the closest the Cougars could get in doubles was an 8-4 loss by Soares and Strunk at No. 2.
Strunk and Hardin each lost 6-3, 6-1 in their singles matches. That was as close as Barton would get.
Barton is off until next Tuesday when the Cougars will travel to Liberal to take on fourth ranked Seward County.