By TODD MOORE
Barton Sports Info
The 6th ranked Barton Community College men's tennis team won their lone Stueder Contractor Cougar Classic match on Saturday with a hard fought 5-3 victory over 8th ranked Iowa Central Community College.
Having their match cancelled on Friday versus Newman University due to weather conditions, Saturday's action against the Tritons was also affected in having to shift the dual indoors to Club 1 Fitness.
The Cougars took a 2-1 match lead into singles play, splitting the top two slots of the lineup before clinching the dual in winning the third and fourth spots in the lineup.
Now 7-2 on the season, Barton will next travel to Liberal on Tuesday for a 1:00 p.m. conference opener at 7th ranked Seward County Community College.
Leading 3-2 overall, the match was clinched in the No. 4 slot with a tiebreaker deciding the outcome. Barnabas Kalaba took the first set 7-6, 7-4 in the tiebreaker but leading 5-4 in the second, a pivotal line call turned the tide with the Triton's Andrew Kunaka winning the next three games for a 7-5 win. Still reeling to begin the ten-point tiebreak, Kalaba battled back from a 4-0 deficit to eventually prevail 11-9 in putting Barton up 5-2 at the time in clinching the match.
The Cougars won two of the three doubles action to begin the match after the No. 1 tandem of Sebastiao Vilas and Fernando Andrea dropped an 8-6 decision to Isak Padio and Prince Gandonou. The No. 2 duo of Kalaba and Tsholofelo Tsiang tied the match with an 8-2 win over Tadeu Sanchez and Carlos Acala, leaving it up to the No. 3's of Gustavo Campos and Marno Du Plessis in taking care of business with an 8-3 win over Kunaka and Emmanuel Oudensi putting Barton ahead in the match.
At the top of the lineup, 22nd ranked Campos made short work of 46th ranked Alex Lago with a 6-3, 6-2 win but Vilas fell in his No. 2 match to Padio after winning the first set 7-5 but dropping the second 6-3 in going on to lose the match 10-7 in the breaker.
Andre got off to a good start in the No. 3 matchup with a 6-3 win but the wheels fell off in the second set by getting blanked 6-0 by Gandonou. Recovering in the tie break, Andre put the Cougars one win away from the dual victory by coming out on top and knocking off the 35th ranked Triton 10-8 in the hard fought extra frame.
Simultaneous to Kalaba's match, Tsiang's 6-3, 7-5 loss in the No. 5 against Zamani Moyo put all eyes back on the No. 4 matchup that was headed into the tie breaker in what would be the clinching match.
Following the clinching win, No. 6 Du Plessis dropped a 7-3 score in the first set tiebreaker to Nafiralo Ouattara but the match was left unfinished due to time constraints.