For the first time in program history, the Seward County Saints Tennis team are the Region VI Champions. Seward more less dominated the tournament, winning championships at seven of nine spots and finishing runners-up in the other two brackets to cruise to the team title.
In #1 singles the Saints sent their top man, Ronzai Saurombe to the court. In the 1st round, Saurombe put a beating on Barton's Alvaro Martinez, winning 6-0, 6-1 to easily advance to the title match. In the championship match Saturday, Saurombe had a little bit tougher time against Cowley's Erik Eldagson, losing the first set 6-1 before turning it on to bounce the Tigers star 6-0 in the second and 7-6 in the decider to win the tournament title.
Vitor Galvao was the Saints man in the #2 bracket and like Saurombe, had little trouble in his first match of the tournament, torching Hesston's Eric Cender 6-0, 6-1 to move to the title match. In the championship match he stumbled though, falling 7-6, 7-5 to Marcello Baldarama of Cowley to finish as the #2 singles runner-up.
Alvaro Regnifo took care of his first round match 6-2, 6-2 against Yuu Sakaguchi of Hesston to easily reach the title match at #3 singles. In the championship tilt he faced Juan Bermudez of Cowley and took it to him in straight sets too, winning 6-3, 7-6 to claim the #3 title during his freshman season.
Another Seward freshman, Felipe Casares hit the court for the Saints at #4 singles. He won 6-4, 6-1 in his first match of the tournament against Caleb Schrock of Hesston to move onto the championship match where he knocked off top seeded Jorge Godoy of Cowley in come from behind fashion 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 to win a championship of his own.
At #5 singles Seward's Tare Mariga breezed to a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Barton's Trevor Carey in his 1st round match. In the finals he took on Cowley's Seth Moore and needed only two sets to blow past him as well, winning 7-6, 6-2 to pick up Seward's fourth singles championship.
Frenchman Paul Arslanian barely broke a sweat to bring home his hardware. The Saints #6 man won 6-0, 6-0 in his opener against Barton's Tristan Jones and cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Tim Fischer of Cowley in the title tilt to collect a tournament title of his own.
Seward's dominance continued into doubles action where Saurombe and Galvao blanked Martinez/Schueler of Barton 6-0, 6-0 in their opening round match and avenged a regular season loss to Cowley's Eldagson/Moore with a win in the championship match to take the #1 doubles title.
Regnifo and Casares pulled an upset win in the 1st round of their #2 doubles match, defeating Barton's Fabiano/Rochat 6-1, 6-1 to move onto the finals match in that bracket. In the finals they were shut down though, falling 7-6, 4-6, 7-3 to end the day as runners-up.
After each collecting singles crown's, Mariga and Arslanian were at it again in doubles play. The duo worked a swift 6-0, 6-0 beating of Schrock/Stutzman of Hesston in their opening round match before exacting revenge on Bermudez/Godoy of Cowley in the final, taking the Tigers pair down 6-2, 7-6 to earn their second rings of the weekend.
The Saints clinched their first ever Region VI Championship before doubles play even began on Saturday. They finished with 25 total points in the tournament, five ahead of Cowley who picked up 20 and way ahead of third place Barton who notched 10.5. Hesston rounded out the group with 3 points.
The win earns the Saints a bid to the NJCAA National Tournament in Plano, Texas May 11-14. Seward will enter the tournament with high hopes following their Region Title and their top 5 national ranking.