Men’s tennis team captures national title

The Seward County men’s tennis team duo of Ronzai Saurombe and Alejandro Gonzalez took everyone by surprise as they upset every opponent and took the 2013 National Championship, despite being ranked as last seed. In thier first round against the top ranked team, Saurombe and Gonzalez took on Mate Cutura and James Martell from Tyler JC. Strong play by the Seward duo helped them take the first set 6-4. It was in the second set that Saurombe and Gonzalez went down. Despite leading the set 2-0, Tyler caught up and won the set 6-3. To decide the winner, they played to a ten point tie-breaker. A quick 6-0 lead led Saurombe and Gonzalez to the upset in a 10-3 win that gave Gonzalez and Saurombe the pass to semifinals. In the semifinals, Seward was again the underdog going against a higher seed. They were up against No. 4 seed Patrick Hackling and Chris Clark of Georgia Perimeter. It was another quick start for Seward as they went up 5-1. Another break gave the set to Seward who won it 6-1. In the second set, Saurombe and Gonzalez went up again early for a 3-0 lead. While Hackling and Clark tried to catch up, the Saints made a push to win the final three games left in the set to get the victory 6-2. From the lowest seed in the tournament, Saurombe and Gonzalez found themselves in the final against Alec Bessinger and Adrien Varenne from Fresno City College. Bessinger and Varenne were ranked third for the tournament. The first set was even from the start. Back and forth action took the set to 3-3 before Gonzalez served to put the Saints in the lead 5-3. As Saurombe served, the Rams from Fresno City kept answering and proved thier endurance to extend the set to 26 points and 10 deuces. Seward still came on top and won the set 6-3. In the second set, Seward made it look easy by taking an early 4-0 lead. After both teams won a game, the score was 5-2 and the duo from Seward was just one point away from the national title. Fresno was not giving up yet as they took the next point to make it 5-2. Saurombe stepped up to serve and held it enough to score the winning point and to win the game, making Seward County the 2013 ITA National Champions in the junior college doubles division. This pair of freshman made history by becoming the first Saints tennis team in history to win a National Championship. ITA also organized an event titled the Super Bowl in which the four small college champions from Junior College, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA would battle for a winner of the whole event. The winner would then win an invite to the NCAA Division I National Tournament. Freshmen Saurombe and Gonzalez played against the NCAA Division III duo of Branter Jones and Palmer Campbell from Middlebury College. Both teams were off to the start exchanging breaks in the first set to make it 2-2. The Panthers from Middlebury then got the lead 3-2. The next two games were traded between both teams to make it 4-3. Seward lost momentum and Middlebury took the remaining two games to win the first set 6-3. In the second set, Seward fell behind 3-0 and couldn’t catch up. Their weekend came to an end as they lost the second set 6-1. At the beginning of the weekend, they were the first Seward County Men’s players to even earn a trip to the ITA National Tournament. As Saurombe and Gonzalez left Fort Myers, they left as the first Seward tennis team to win a National Championship, men’s or women’s.­­­ For more statistics on the ITA National Tournament, visit ­

Saurombe and Gonzalez Champions