The Seward County Saints lived up to the #4 national ranking Friday afternoon at the Southwest Juco Championships in Plano, Texas, going 12-2 as a team against some of the best players the NJCAA has to offer.
The most impressive showing of the day for Seward most certainly came at #1 singles where the Saints Carlos Anez first defeated Lachlan Napier of Laredo to reach the semis and then shocked 2nd ranked Ferran Calvo of Tyler rather easily in a 6-2, 6-4 decision to advance to Saturday's championship match.
Duro Opacic took care of business in the #2 slot, breezing past James Corns of Colin in the opening round and upending Guenile Outtara of Seminole State in a close semifinal match to reach his flight final on Saturday.
At #3 it was Ondrej Nice hitting the court for Seward. The sophomore played solid tennis for the Saints, knocking off Cowley's Lukas Michenka in straight sets in the first round before earning an impressive win over 16th ranked Chisomo Lumeta of Seminole State to reach the finals.
Przemek Zielinski represented the Saints at #4, downing Jacksonville's Oscar Ferrero 6-0, 6-3 in the first round. In the semis he was a set up on Tyler's Reid Feehan, but dropped the second and then the third set tiebreak to settle for a third place matchup on Saturday.
In his only match of the day at #5, Seward's Claudio Quinones was upset 6-4, 6-3 by Cowley's Ronald Ruyfinki to drop him to the consolation bracket on Saturday.
Ngoni Makambwa controlled the pace of his two matches at #6, first blowing by Thompson Tong of Colin in the first round before outlasting Cowley's Jose Castro in a three setter for a spot in the title match.
The Saints swept all three doubles matches on the day as Anez and Nice survived a scare at #1 against Colin, Alex Mosehle and Gabriel Nery slid past Cowley at #2 and Opacic and Zielinski moved onto the semis with an 8-5 win at #3.
The Saints finish the day 12-2 overall and will play for four singles championships Saturday with all three doubles teams still alive in their brackets as well.