Tennis duos place at ITA Nationals

The last time Saurombe took the court at Nationals he was alongside teammate Alejandro Gonzalez and this time around he had Felipe Casares next to him as they went up against some of the best in doubles.

It was an unfortunate first match for the pair as they lost the opening doubles to Josh Page and Austin Smith of Abraham Baldwin. Saurombe and Casares were unable to defeat Page and Smith and were beat 6-2 both matches of the first round. This automatically bumped the pair down to the consolation bracket, where they were able to pick up some heat and won their first match when they shared the court with Alex Clerihew and Ian Sioux of Seminole State. As a result Casares and Saurombe placed 5th in ITA Nationals, and finished with a record of 4-2 overall. Although the doubles pair was unable to bring home the championship title, they are still happy with how they played.

Saurombe shared that it was a great feeling being able to attend Nationals once again, and he had gone it hoping for the best. “I was ready for anything,” Saurombe said, “I was hoping that we both could play our best.” The ITA Nationals was the first major tournament that Casares and Saurombe had played together, and Saurombe added that he thought they had adjusted well and did they best they could. He also shared that a bit more of preparation would’ve “made a slight difference, but not a major one.” More time to get used to each other would’ve had a more positive impact on their performance than anything else. Saurombe continued on to say that he advises future Saints to keep up the tradition and standards the whole team has set. Saurombe spoke highly of his teammates as well, and called them hard workers. “All they need to do is stay focused and fight hard because it doesn’t come easy.”

Casares likewise felt confident going into nationals, but realized that he lacked in experience in doubles during his and Saurombe’s matches. “There’s nothing much I can change,” Casares said, “other than the lack of experience, but that will come time.” Casares also shared some words of wisdom for future teammates, and that was to simply enjoy the experiences they encounter and to keep a positive attitude no matter the situation.

Casares looks forward to winning more tournaments and gaining more experience, which he shared would woud only help in bettering himself.

The pair finished with a record of 4-2 for the season; individually, Saurombe finished at 13-1 as a No. 1 seed and Casares finished with a record of 1-1 as a No. 1 seed, 4-2 as a No. 2 seed and 2-1 as a No. 3 seed.

Another duo that also made it to Nationals and got closer to bringing home the National title were  “The Paulas.” Paula Coyos and Paula Lopez had a great start to the season as a pair and their teamwork carried them to Regionals, where they succeeded in taking a spot for the ITA Nationals.

The duo showed up to nationals with a perfect record of 11-0 and had an easy start with the first two rounds in the tournament.

The ladies went head-to-head with Carlee Conway and Maria Cespedes of Marion Military Institute and quickly advanced to semifinals.

Their semifinals competition were Florida State Champions Maeva Sanchez and Kiah Turner. The Lady Saints were stumped for the first round and the Broward duo took the first set 7-5. The second time around Lopez and Coyos turned the game around and took back the second set at 6-2 as well as the tie breaker 10-5.

“The Paulas” were triumphant up until their shot in the championship match, where they were stopped short by Joanna Savva and Paige Murdock. The Lady saints began their first set in the lead but fell short to the Tyler duo 7-5.

The second set was a repeat of the first as Savva and Murdock took the lead once again, but both teams were obligated to play a tie breaker, which Lopez and Coyos were unable to win and lost 7-3 to Savva and Murdock.

The duo finished second in the ITA Nationals, the programs unparalleled finish ever.

Individually, Lopez finished off her season with a record of 15-1 in the No. 1 seed, and finished at 13-1 with Coyos in doubles. Coyos wrapped up her season off with a record of 8-3 as a No. 1 seed as well.