Things don’t get much closer than this past weekend for the Barton men’s tennis team. The Cougars traveled to Nebraska for a break in the off-season, losing a pair of 5-4 decisions.
Barton lost 5-4 to Doane College (Neb.) and then again 5-4 to host Midland University. The Cougars will go back to the off-season now with the spring season getting started in earnest in early March.
“Several of our kids were playing for the first time at Barton,” Coach Stickney said. “There was definitely some nervousness in their opening matches. Once they got past that they settled down and played much better.
“We had our chances in both duals. We got off to a rough start by dropping two of three doubles matches against Doane and couldn’t make up the difference. We were up 4-2 against Midland but just couldn’t close out the dual.”
It was a day that saw many of the Cougars split their matches. All three doubles teams went 1-1 during the afternoon as did three singles players.
The lone player to win both singles for the day was Brazilian freshman Luis Soares at No. 2. Soares won 6-2, 6-0 over Taylor Johnson of Midland and led 2-1 over Doane’s Ignacio Morell before Morell retired due to an injury.
Soares teamed with Sam Barker at No. 1 singles to split their matches. Soares and Barker, a freshman from Goddard, won 9-7 over Midland’s Matt Coffey and Ryan Vitera but lost 8-6 to Morell and Kris Kiland of Doane.
Barker lost both his single matches at No. 3 in a tiebreaker. He lost 6-3, 4-6, 10-2 to Ryder Ross of Midland and 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 to Aaron Cook of Doane.
Lucas Castelani split his No. 1 singles matches. The freshman defeated Logan Meisinger of Midland, 6-2, 6-2 and lost to Kiland of Doane, 6-0, 6-2. He joined Ray Strunk at No. 2 doubles to go 1-1 as well. Castelani and Strunk defeated Andy McDill and Nick Arguello of Midland 8-5 but lost to Cook and Grayson McCartney of Doane, 8-4.
Strunk, a freshman from Valley Center, split matches at No. 4 singles, winning 6-3, 6-0 over McCartney of Doane and losing 6-2, 6-3 to Vitera of Midland.
Triston Herbst and Cole Hardin were the only doubles winners against Doane, beating Keagan Hill and Yau Sakaguchi, 9-7. The two lost to Midland’s Dylan Hatanelas and Christian Slupe, 8-4.
Hardin, a freshman from Maize, split his singles matches at No. 6, beating Hill of Doane, 6-4, 6-3 but losing to Slupe of Midland, 6-4, 6-3. Herbst, a freshman from Andover, lost 6-3, 6-1 to Kolin Brooks of Midland and lost a battle with Sakaguchi of Doane, 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.