Coming off its first dual win of the season two days prior, the Barton County Community College men's tennis team fell short in its bid for two in a row falling in a hard fought 6-3 decision to Bethel College Thursday afternoon at the Ellinwood Grade School tennis courts. Falling behind three matches after being swept in the doubles round, the Cougars took three of the singles matches but came up on the short end on tie-breakers resulting in two pivotal losses.
Barton's top doubles duo of Lucas Castelani and Sam Barker took an 8-4 loss to Bethel's Davian Lightbourne and Gabe Johnson. Castelani got the better of Lightbourne in singles play taking the top match 6-4, 6-0 while Barker struggled in his No. 3 matchup taking a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Jenson Kingsley.
Losing by an identical 8-4 score was the tandem of Luis Soares and Ray Strunk in the No. 2 doubles falling to Kingsley and Chris Soosalu. Soares and Johnson would match up in the No. 2 singles later in the day with Johnson winning the first set tie breaker 7-6 before holding off Soares in the second 6-3. Strunk later picked up the second of the Cougars' singles victories in a spirited 6-1, 6-3 No. 4 match over Grant Bellar.
Trailing 4-0 in the No. 3 doubles, Triston Herbst and Cole Hardin rattled off four straight games to tie the match but couldn't carry the momentum in the second half of the match falling 8-5 to the Trashers' Bellar and Tyler Shima. Hardin earned the final Barton victory of the day in the No. 6 defeating Preston Gapter 6-3, 6-2 while Herbst wrapped up the action with the match of the day with a 11-9 tie-break loss to Connick Roe in the No. 5 as the duo each had 6-4 set wins.
The Cougars wrap up regular season play next Monday at 12:00 p.m. in Arkansas City in Jayhawk Conference action against No. 7 ranked Cowley College.