May 12, 2022

Barton women's tennis posts second consecutive top ten national finish

Posted May 12, 2022 10:55 AM
Barton Athletics
Barton Athletics

The 11th ranked Barton Community College women's tennis team surpassed their ranking with a 10th place finish at the 2022 NJCAA Division I National Tennis Championships held at the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona

In four days of competition the Cougars were a combined 12-9 on the court with three of those defeats coming to injury defaults while two others came to the eventual national champion.

Barton finished in the top ten for the second straight season, compiling 20 points for their 10th place standing, one point from 9th place and three points ahead of 11th place Meridian Community College.

The Cougars got off to a near flawless 7-1 start to the Championships, sweeping the three doubles matches and winning four of their singles while receiving a bye in the No. 4 flight.

Taking the lone loss in the first round was Angelina Gnezdilova in the No. 1 flight to the nation's 11th ranked player. Getting a day of recovery before getting back to the court, Gnezdilova rattled off three straight convincing wins on the backside to capture the Consolation Finals title. Ranked 12th on the season, Gnezdilova won the No. 4 flight backdraw last season as the Emporia State University commit compiled a 7-2 record at Nationals in her two years donning the Cougar uniform.

Clara Penido, who is ranked 36th and seeded 8th in the No. 2 flight, racked up a pair of victories including knocking off the nation's 26th ranked player. Penido's season came to an end in the Quarterfinals to the top seeded and 2nd ranked player but handed the eventual national champion the most losses in a match (4) throughout the tournament.

Penido also had her No. 1 flight doubles season come to an end to an eventual champion. Teaming with Gnezdilova, the duo won their first round easily before taking a 6-4, 6-2 loss to the 3rd ranked squad.

Three others went 1-1 on the court, 6th seeded Azul Barrios in the No. 4 flight, Paula Curci in the No. 5 flight, and Barrios and Curci in the No. 2 flight doubles.

Malena Hernandez, ranked 50th nationally, and Jacie Roth easily won the first round singles match by twin 6-0 scores in the No. 3 and No. 6 flights respectively then later teamed up for a first round No. 3 flight victory. Unfortunately for both, injuries sidelined them forcing a tournament withdrawal.