LIBERAL, Kan.- The Seward County Community College Tennis teams will play in their first match of the season Friday at Cameron University. The men's program enters the spring of 2020 preseason ranked No. 3 in the Nation, after a great fall season. The Saints women's tennis team is preseasoned ranked No. 10 and will look to build from the fall season.
After the program's third consecutive Region VI championship last year, the women's tennis team reloaded with an entirely new team filled with freshmen. Head Coach for Seward County Chase Ashley looks for the young group to buy into the culture that has been put into place already. "Buy into the culture, we are an effort culture and that is what we are." Coach Ashley continued about the mentality of his team, "Have fun with it we hustle for every ball, its high energy, high effort and at the end of practice, the end of the match, the end of the season let the chips fall where they may."
In the fall season, the Saints Maria Garcia finished in the top four of the singles draw at the Central Regional Championship in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Garcia knocked off the number one overall seed and has shown growth since arriving here on campus. Coach Ashley talked about the growth that he has seen already in Garcia. "Coming back this semester I feel like she has had a new emphasis on putting in the extra work, and focusing on the details on certain things."
Last season the Women's tennis team finished 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Their opponent Cameron University is 0-2 on the season and most recently fell to No. 20 Washburn 3-4 last Saturday.
The Tennis men's team enters the 2020 season after a tremendous fall season. The Saints had three players participate in the ITA Cup in Sander Jans, Karl Wurth, and Gabe Ortiz. Jans and Wurth finished second in doubles draw after their championship run at the Central Regionals in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Jans beat Ortiz at the Regional championship but Ortiz received an at large bid to enter the ITA Cup singles draw. Ortiz went on to defeat Jans in the championship to claim the Saints second consecutive singles draw championship.
Saints have won seven consecutive Region VI championships and Coach Ashley sees this group as another talented team. "We have to make sure that we are doing the small things right and make sure we are disciplined and everything, because to win the National we are going to have to pay attention to detail." Coach Ashley continued, "They say in football its inches, well in Tennis it's inches and whether the ball is in or out."
Last season the Saints had an overall record of 12-5, a conference record of 3-0 and finished third at Nationals. The Saints will take on the 1-1 Cameron Aggies tomorrow.