PLANO, Texas — As the NJCAA Division-I National Tennis Championship winds down to its final two days of competition, three Barton Community College men’s tennis team members have stood the test.
The Cougars lost all but one singles player in Day 3 while one doubles tandem will see Day 4 as well.
Jeret Johnson stayed alive in the No. 3 singles consolation bracket play to become the lone Cougar remaining in the singles competition.
Johnson defeated Glendale’s Enrique Ledesma 8-3 to advance to today’s 11 a.m. semifinal match against Jake McDonough of Marion Military Institute.
Seventh-seeded Alvaro Martinez saw his run in the No. 2 singles come to an end Wednesday, falling to the tournament’s No. 1 seed Jack Boling of ASA College.
The pair battled in an epic hour-long first set battle but Martinez couldn’t quite win the needed points in falling in a deceiving score of 6-0.
Boling then ended Martinez singles season winning 6-3 in the second set.
Joining Martinez as the lone Cougars to reach the final eight in the championship bracket was Chase Buntain in the No. 6 singles flight. Just like Martinez, Buntain had the tough task of taking on the tournament’s top seed, losing 6-0, 6-0, to Shaquille Taylor of ASA.
Bounced to the consolation bracket after the first round, the No. 3 doubles team of Austin Jacobs and Buntain defeated Jacksonville College’s Taylor Johnson and Miles Munro 8-3 then dispatched Marion Military Institutes’ Marty Birchmeier and Philip Patton 8-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Barton duo will have a familiar foe in the semifinal round as they will meet fellow Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference member Johnson County’s tandem of Jeffrey Stevens and Jose Torres.
The national meeting will be a rematch from the April 17 meeting in Overland Park in which the Cougars won 8-5.
Fielding a mash unit at the No. 1 doubles team, the duo of Vinicius Ono and Martinez continued to battle through their injuries but came up a little short, dropping a three-set tiebreaker to Hartford’s Murilo Basso and Leonardo Sanches.
Dropping the first set 6-2, the sixth-seeded Cougars roared back with a resounding 6-0 win setting up the deciding third set.
Tied at six in the third, Hartford got the point they needed in dispatching the Cougars 7-5 in the tiebreaker to end Barton’s season.
Just like the No. 3 doubles team the No. 2 doubles pair of Johnson and Nicholas Moyers were bounced to the consolation bracket after the first round.
Beneficiaries of a nice draw, getting a bye in the Round of 16, the Cougars were sent home from the tournament with an 8-4 loss to the rackets of Seminole State College’s Alex Brown and Mitchell Vechione.
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