Clutch play leads Lady Saints tennis to nationals

The Lady Saints tennis team advanced to the NJCAA national championships after winning the regional tournament April 16 in Wichita at Riverside Tennis Park.
The Lady Saints had a rough Friday but a strong Saturday gave them hope.
The Lady Saints hopes for nationals rested on the final tournament doubles match with Fabiola Wisnesky and Valerie Stevens. The two lost their first set badly but were able to rebound in the second to barely win the set.
The two Lady Saints came up clutch in the third and won the match and put Seward ahead by half a point to send the team to nationals.
Antigoné Lowery also excelled in the tournament as she placed first in the region.
During her singles matches, she scored 7-5, 4-6, and 6-3. She was regional champion.
Lowery’s final match lasted two and a half hours and was decided by one point.
Lowery’s scores were also key with a first place finish that added to the team total, but in a tournament decided by half a point every Lady Saint point mattered.
Lowery feels that this win meant a lot since they were down by three points on the second day of regionals. She also feels that without the support of her team she would not have done as well as she did.
Lowery had to deal with a lot of pressure in her final match.
“The final set that I played was the most intense set that I have played so far because of the fact that it was up to me. I felt like I had to perform perfect and give it 100 percent.”
“We have a great group of girls,” Lowery said. “I am proud to be on the same team with them.” She also admitted that there were some tears involved after finding out that they would be advancing to nationals.
The women singles matches consisted of Alyssa Larson winning her first match, but lost her second.
Juliana Boas had the same outcome on her matches.
Fabiola Wisnesky and Valerie Stevens won two of their three matches placing third in the tournament.
Sylvia Perez won her first match and lost her second. Although she came up short on her second match, team members feel she played awesome.
“I was impressed with the way she played,” Lowery said. “She came in at semester and she didn’t have as much match experience as the rest of the team.”
Advancing to nationals is an accomplishment for the Lady Saints, adding to the streak of national appearances. They have qualified for nationals the past four years.
“The team has a great bond,” Larson said. “We always support each other. As long as we keep our heads up and keep a positive vibe we will do great.”
The coaches have a lot of confidence in the women.
“If they all play well, they can do well,” head Seward County tennis coach Darin Workman said. “Many of our sophomores made the quarterfinals last year, the top eight, and if they can play well and build off that we’ll be in good shape.”
There will be many scouts in attendance at nationals which should be beneficial to the players who haven’t signed in finding a school.
Nationals will be held in Tucson, Ariz. from May 2-7.