ARKANSAS CITY – It was not the kind of ending that Coach Lyle Stickney had hoped for his Barton Community College men’s tennis team.
The Cougars had their season end in the Region VI Championships, winning just two matches the entire day, finishing fourth.
Seward County, ranked No. 6 in the nation, came away with the Region VI title with 25 points, edging out No. 4 Cowley College, which finished second with 20 points. Hesston College took third with 10.5 while Barton finished fourth with just three points.
“Once again we just didn’t play very well,” Coach Stickney said. “We lost several matches to opponents that we’d previously beaten.
“Vitor Schuler led the way for the squad taking third in both singles and doubles. He is so inventive on the court and routinely pulls off seemingly impossible shots. It’s very entertaining to watch him play, he is the most personable, upbeat player I’ve ever coached.”
Schuler, playing No. 2 singles, lost his opening match to eventual champion Marcello Balderama of Cowley, 7-6 (4), 6-0. He came back to win the third place match against Eric Cender of Hesston in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Schuler teamed with Alvaro Martinez at No. 1 doubles, losing to the eventual champion once again in the semifinals as Seward’s Ronzai Saurombe and Vitinho Galvo defeated the two 6-0, 6-0. The duo came back to beat Hesston’s Lucas Caywood and Keegan LeFevre in a tiebreaker for third. Schuler and Martinez won 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.
In the other doubles matches, Dominic Fabiano and Matthew Rochat lost both matches on the day. The duo lost to Seward’s Alvaro Rengifo and Felipe Cesares at No. 2 doubles, 6-1, 6-1. Fabiano and Rochat had a battle for third against Hesston’s Yuu Sakaguchi and Cender, losing in a tiebreaker. The Larks’ won the match, 6-0, 4-6, 10-6.
At the No. 3 doubles Tristan Jones and Chase Penka lost to the top seed from Cowley, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals and lost 6-1, 6-0 to Hesston’s Caleb Schrock-Hurst and Andry Stutzman.
Martinez went 0-2 at No. 1 singles, losing to Seward’s Saurombe , 6-0, 6-1 in the semis and to Hesston’ LeFevre in the third place match, 6-1, 6-2. Fabiano lost at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-0 to Cowley’s Juan Bermudez and then defaulted to Sakaguchi for third.
Rochat lost 6-1, 6-1 to Cowley’s Jorge Godoy at No. 4 singles in the semifinals and lost 6-2, 6-3 to Schrock-Hurst of Hesston for third. At No. 5 singles, Trevor Carey fell 6-0, 6-0 to Tare Mariga of Seward to start the day and lost 6-3, 6-3 to Stutzman of Hesston for third. Jones lost 6-0, 6-0 to Seward’s Paul Arlsanian at No. 6 singles then lost the third place match to Caywood of Hesston, 6-0, 6-4.