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Thresher tennis takes hardware at KCAC Fall Individual Championships
Eight men and women took home a medal ahead of ITA regionals this week.
LINDSBORG — On Saturday, the Bethel tennis teams competed in the 2023 KCAC Fall Individuals Championships in Lindsborg, hosted by Bethany. Eight Threshers took home hardware in singles and doubles for the men’s and women's teams.
After play was postponed on Friday due to rain, the entire tournament took place on Saturday.
The women’s team had a rough start losing all first round matches in the singles portion but took the challenge in doubles with Halle Krehbiel and Grace Dawes at #1 doubles getting to the semifinals and finishing in fourth place. The women’s most notable accomplishment was Nalea Payton and Patricia Huerta at the #2 doubles spot, placing third and taking home the bronze with a 6-2 victory over Sterling.
“I feel like Nalea and I were able to finally play together as a cohesive unit,” said sophomore Praticia Huerta from McPherson. “We communicated well in our matches and were able to be dominant at the net for most of the matches. The semifinals was a bit of a wake up call for us, but now we know what we need to work on this coming week. I hope we are able to keep up the mindset of taking control at the net. I also hope we are able to make some noise at ITA next weekend.”
On the men’s side, six men took hardware and even multiple at that. Milan Bucek in #1 singles placed third, beating Southwestern 8-4. Michael Cech took the #2 singles championship gold beating Kansas Wesleyan. Petr Kollar took third after winning 9-8 in a tiebreaker against Kansas Wesleyan. Rodrigo Sanchez took second, falling in the championship match to Oklahoma Wesleyan 8-5.
In doubles, all three pairings were placed. Cech and Kollar took third at #1, Bucek and Jonah Bergeron took first at #2, and Quercia and Sanchez finished second at #3.
“Despite the amount of matches we played this weekend and the tiredness, we still kept each other pumped up and fought through the long days,” said senior Michael Cech from Modlany, Czech Republic.
“I think we had higher expectations for our doubles match but we unfortunately lost in the semifinal. We came back in our third place match to get the bronze medal. I was really surprised with my individual performance in singles matches where I played really well in all three matches and I ended up winning the whole thing.”
“I was really pleased on the men’s side with how we showed up in big moments,” head coach Gabe Johnson said. “We played in some big matches, a lot of semifinals. We got 7 medals on the weekend and two championships. People had to battle against some really tough competition. It was great to see our guys come out on top in those moments.
“On the women’s side, we continue to show the strengths we have in the doubles lineup. Not the results we wanted on the singles side but I know they are all looking forward to working on that and getting ready for the ITA Regional next weekend.”
Both tennis teams will be entered into the draw for the ITA Regional on Sep. 22-24 with matches taking place in Salina.