HESSTON— There is little doubt the Barton Community College men’s tennis team plays in one, if not the toughest, regions in the NJCAA. Two of the top four teams in the nation are in the region.
Tuesday Barton had the privilege of playing one of those highly ranked foes. The Cougars took on fourth ranked Cowley College and came up without a win, losing to the Tigers 9-0. The match was played in Hesston as Cowley also played Hesston later in the day, winning that 9-0 as well.
Barton had a win in its grasp in the doubles play to start the day as the No. 2 doubles team of Dominic Fabiano and Matthew Rochat were but a point from victory. The duo led McCann Bell and Joseph Davenport 7-4 and had a match point to close it out.
But that did not happen. The Cowley tandem rallied to win that game on their way to five straight wins and a 9-7 come-from-behind victory.
That was the only competitive match in doubles. Barton’s No. 1 team of Vitor Shueler and Alvaro Martinez lost 8-2 to Cowley’s Erik Eldagson and Seth Moore. In No. 3 doubles Chase Penka and Tristan Jones fell 8-1 to Juan Bermudez and Jorge Godoy.
Schueler put a battle at No. 2 singles, taking Marcello Balderrama to a tiebreaker. Balderrama won the opening set 6-3 then Schueler came back to win the second set 7-5. Balderrama won out in the tiebreaker by a 10-4 score.
That was the only close singles match. Martinez lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 to Eldagsen and Fabiano defaulted at No. 3.
Rochat lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles to Godoy, the same score Penka lost No. 5 singles to Moore. Jones was blanked at No. 6 singles by Tim Fischer, 6-0, 6-0.
Barton will now head to Arkansas City for the Region VI meet April 24 and do battle against some of the top teams in the nation. In addition to Cowley ranked No. 4, Seward County is ranked No. 3 in the country.