The Barton Community College women's tennis team concluded their season Wednesday, exceeding their pre-tournament ranking by three spots in placing 18th at the NJCAA Division I National Tennis Championships held at the Regional Tennis and Fitness Center in Waco, Texas
The Lady Cougars went 11-14 in the four days of action with a singles and doubles team bouncing back from opening round losses to grind it out to the Consolation finals.
Earning three wins on the backside to capture the Consolation title was Ksenija Dmitrovic in the No. 3 singles draw. The freshman from Serbia won her first two consolation matches by identical 8-3 scores before defeating Pima Community College's Meghan Houk in a dominating 8-2 score.
Also reaching the consolation finals was the No. 1 doubles tandem of Neus Torregrosa and Shai Cartmill, rattling off three backside victories before falling 8-3 in the finals to Brenda Aguilar and Melissa Ariza of North Central Texas College.
Another highlight of the week was not in the scorebook but character on the court as Torregrosa was presented for the second consecutive year the prestigious NJCAA "Jovana Vasic Spirit of Competition" Award. Nominated, evaluated, and selected by coaches and officials at the championship tournament, Torregrosa was rewarded of her fair play, sportsmanship, and competitive spirit with the annual award presented in memory of St. Petersburg College standout Jovana Vasic.
Ranked 9th in No. 1 singles, Torregrosa won her first match in dominating fashion in dropping just one game before meeting up with the 4th seeded Valentina Gonzalez of Seminole State College in the Round of 16. Dropping the first set 6-3, Torregrosa was up 3-1 in the second before the service game allowed Gonzalez back in it to eventually end the Barton singles career of the Spaniard.
No. 2 singles player Sarah Hammer also dominated her first round match with identical 6-2 scores but like Torregrosa, received a tough draw in being eliminated by the top seeded Maria Genovese of Tyler Junior College in a twin 6-0 blanking.
Joining Torregrosa in the final event donning the Cougar blue, Cartmill in the No. 4 singles and Jenna Groene in the No. 5 singles slot each went 1-2 in the tournament but were eliminated in different brackets. Cartmill was bounced to the consolation side from the first round loss then dominated her first match 8-1 before having her singles career end 8-0 to Eastern Florida State's Janine Jamie Duque. Groene meanwhile, stayed in the championship side of the bracket with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 win over Becsave Pacheco of New Mexico Military Institute before losing in the Round of 16 to 5th seeded Priscilla Morales of Laredo by dual 6-1 scores.
Groene also reached the Round of 16 in doubles, being joined by Hammer to knock off Pima's Houk and Lien Nguyen in a grueling three-setter 6-2, 3-6, and 6-3. The duo had their season come to end in Tuesday's match 6-0, 6-1 to the tournament's 3rd seeded Agustina Diaz and Yasayi Ganesan Shanthi of ABAC.
In the No. 6 singles slot, Thamires Lima battled tough in her opening round match against Jenna Brown of Lewis Clark falling 6-2, 6-4 before being eliminated in her next match 8-3 to Jones County's Jillian Cran.
Lima and Dmitrovic received a bye from Monday's No. 3 doubles action but were quickly bounced to the consolation side with a 6-0, 6-1 loss dealt by Tyler's top seeded duo of Oceane Garibal and Afrodite Tzanopoulous. Receiving another bye on the back side of the bracket, the pair resumed play in the conscolation quarterfinals but came out on the short side of the tie-break losing 9-8 (6).