The Barton County Community College men's tennis team split a pair of home matchups Monday at Great Bend's Veterans Memorial Park tennis courts. In the morning action, the No. 16 Cougars opened conference play taking on the nation's fourth ranked Saints of Seward County Community College losing 8-1 before capping the day with a 7-2 defeat over Iowa Central Community College. Now 5-5 on the year, the Cougars will head south to Oklahoma City for the weekend participating in the Seminole State College Dual Match Invite held at the Oklahoma Tennis Center.
The Cougars were swept in the doubles matches to begin the day before grabbing one of the six singles matches. In the No. 1 dual, Marcel Miasato and Juan David Navarro scored the most points in the three doubles matches, but still found themselves on the short end of an 8-4 score to the Saints' Carlos Anez Diaz and Alex Mosehle. The No. 2 tandem of Giovanni Fragalle and Kaio Massao Sato fell 8-2 to Claudio Quinones and Ngoni Makambwa while the No. 3s didn't fare much better as Juan Diego Jaimes and Lucas Castelani lost 8-3 to Diego Freire and Dane Mechali.
Navarro picked up the lone Barton win of the meet knocking off the Saints' Mosehle in the No. 2 singles earning a hard fought 7-5, 6-4, victory. In a matchup of nationally ranked No. 1 singles players, Seward's Diaz lived up to his No. 5 national ranking handling No. 26 Miasato 6-1, 6-0.
Despite Navarro's victory at the two spot, the Saints dominated the other matches with No. 6 Ray Strunk scoring the most points but coming up short of a 6-3, 6-2, match to Mechali. No. 3 player Fragalle lost 6-2, 6-1, to Quinones with Sato managing just one win at the No. 4 losing 6-0, 6-1, to Makambwa. Freire put another blanking on the Cougars winning the first set 6-0 before holding off Jaimes 6-4 to sweep the No. 5 match.
The Cougars regrouped for the afternoon matches getting off to a solid start sweeping the doubles play against Iowa Central, each by 8-5 scores. Miasato and Navarro took the No. 1 over Manuel Roman and Zach Baker, Fragalle and Sato over Antony Lekoko and Jacob Martens in the No. 2s, with Triston Herbst and Felipe Camargo teaming up for the No. 3 match defeating Nicholas Fifield and Coleton Hout.
Iowa Central fired back in the singles matches, taking the top two matches in convincing fashion. Roman put away Camargo in the No. 1 match 6-0, 6-0, while Lekoke dispatched Thales Machado in the No. 2 match 6-2, 6-3.
The Cougars put any hopes of a Triton victory to bed with an even more dominating performance in the final four matches. Fragalle surrendered just one game in his No. 3 match winning 6-1, 6-0, over Baker while Sato blanked Martens in the No. 4 matchup 6-0, 6-0. Jaimes won identical 6-1 sets in the No. 5 match over Fifield with Strunk putting away Hout in the No. 6 6-2, 6-1.
Barton will be the No. 7 seed in the SSC Duals, opening up play against second seeded and No. 2 ranked Seminole State College. Depending on the outcome, Barton will then play either the 12:30 p.m. consolation match or the 3:00 p.m. winner's bracket semifinals against the winner/loser of the third seeded No. 4 ranked Saints versus the sixth seeded and No. 12 ranked Jacksonville College match.