A national berth doesn’t come easy

The men’s and women’s tennis teams have made several NJCAA National Tennis Tournament appearances, but never have both teams gone in the same year. This season, the Saints and Lady Saints are working hard to change that. Head Coach Darin Workman is currently in his 12th year at Seward County, and has guided many of his past teams to nationals, and has hopes to do the same for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. “I really hope both teams qualify for the national tournament. All of the players deserve to go to nationals,” Workman said. In order to qualify for nationals, both teams must land in the top three in the Region VI Tournament as a team. Even if athletes win their draws, they cannot qualify for nationals individually. Every player is placed in an individual bracket with players from the other teams and is seeded according to how many losses or wins they had against those teams during the spring semester. During the two-day tournament, players from the men’s and women’s tennis teams will each play at least two doubles matches and two singles matches. Depending on how high a players may be seeded in their brackets, they could potentially earn a bye, giving them an easy first round win and two full points to be added to their team. Every first round doubles match a team wins, along with every other main draw doubles win is worth a full point to be added to their team’s total score. Every first round singles win is worth two points and every main draw win after that is worth one point. If a player loses his or her first round doubles or singles match, then every match won thereafter is only worth half a point. In the Region VI Tournament, every point matters to better the team’s chances of qualifying for nationals, and every player is a contributor to the team. The sophomore veterans know what it takes in order to make it past the regional tournament to nationals, and have become huge motivators to the freshman players. “The sophomores have brought leadership and experience to the teams. They are the role models for the freshmen to see what is needed on the court and also in the classroom,” Workman said. The Saints and Lady Saints will be playing opponents from Hesston College, Cowley, Barton, and Johnson Community Colleges in the Region VI Tournament Friday and Saturday, April 16-17 in Wichita.antigone