PLANO, Texas — The second day at the NJCAA Division-I National Tennis Championship looked promising for the Barton Community College men’s tennis team, entering play with all six singles players in the Round of 16.
With the sun setting on the day’s action, the Cougars took a hit, leaving only two singles in the championship bracket, one in the consolation bracket and three being eliminated from competition.
Doubles play wasn’t much friendlier to the Cougars with one duo alive in the championship bracket while the other two tandems were sent to the consolation bracket.
With an impressive first-round victory in the No. 1 Singles flight, Vinicius Ono, battling through injuries, was bounced from singles play falling 6-1, 6-0, to the tournament’s No. 5 seed Joshua Page from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Like Ono in the first round, seventh-seeded Alvaro Martinez followed his impressive first-round win with a second consecutive victory dispatching Christian Duchnak of New Mexico Military Institute 6-2, 6-3, to advance to the No. 2 Singles Quarterfinals. Martinez will have to fight for his season, meeting the tournament’s No. 1 seed Jack Boling of ASA College in an 8 a.m. match today.
Taking a hit in the Round of 16, Jeret Johnson bounced back in the No. 3 Singles to stay alive in the consolation bracket. Losing 6-0, 6-1, to ABCA’s Parker Cuevas-Woodall, Johnson returned to the court later in the day to send Lotfi El Jai of Prairie State College home from the tournament with an 8-4 victory.
Johnson will next play at 11 a.m. today against Glendale Community College’s Enrique Ledesma.
In the No. 4 singles, Nicholas Moyers was sent to the consolation bracket by Vincennes University’s Harsha Manjunath by the scores of 6-1, 6-2. Unlike Johnson, Moyers was unable to survive the day, being eliminated 8-5 by Prairie State’s Gerardo Gomez.
No. 5 Singles player Austin Jacobs, one of three Cougars to play and win their first-round match, fell to Mesa’s Ryan Huss 6-2, 6-2, and was eliminated from singles play.
Joining Martinez as the lone Cougars to reach the final eight in the championship bracket was Chase Buntain in the No. 6 Singles flight. Buntain knocked off Prairie State’s Jeremy Horvath 6-1, 6-3, advancing to today’s quarterfinal round.
Just like Martinez, Buntain will have the tall task of knocking off the tournament’s top seed, playing ASA’s Shaquille Taylor in a 9:30 a.m. match.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of Ono and Martinez lived up to their national No. 6 seed in the first round, defeating Jones County’s Graham Lightsey and Harrison Thomas 6-1, 6-1. The duo will take on the Hartford Community College tandem of Murilo Basso and Leonardo Sanches in a 1 p.m. Round of 16 match today.
Basso and Sanches advanced to the Round of 16 with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, hard fought victory over Itawamba’s Austin McElwain and Nathaniel Pinkney.
The No. 2 and No. 3 Doubles teams weren’t quite as fortunate in the first round as both were sent to the consolation bracket.
Johnson and Moyers lost their No. 2 Doubles match 6-2, 7-5, to Harford’s Tyler Cook and Bobby Frantz while the No. 3 duo of Jacobs and Buntain lost 6-2, 6-2, to Temple College’s Nathaniel Boatright and Ricardo Longoria.
Both teams will next play in the consolation quarterfinals at 6 p.m. today against opponents yet to be determined.