By ROY ALLEN
Seward assistant to the athletic director
The banner season for Seward County freshmen continued this week as Saints tennis player Ronzai Saurombe was awarded the 2014 ITA Rookie of the Year at the NJCAA National Tournament banquet in Plano, Texas.
Saurombe had one of the finest freshmen seasons in school history for the Saints in 2013-2014, going 15-3 in the fall and 17-7 this spring.
He opened the year by winning Bethany Invitational and Metro State Invitational singles titles as well as bringing home the championship in the doubles bracket at the Metro State Invite with partner Alejandro Gonzalez. The pair finished runners-up at the ITA Fall Regional Tournament and were selected as a wild card to the ITA Small College Nationals in Fort Myers, Florida where they upset the No. 1 ranked team in the country before going on to win the ITA Doubles National Championship.
Saurombe opened the year ranked No. 1 in the country in doubles with Gonzalez and No. 10 in singles nationally. He went 10-2 in No. 1 and No. 2 singles this spring, and he and Gonzalez were 7-5 in No. 1 doubles action, finishing runner-up in both singles and doubles at the Region VI Tournament.
Saurombe joins a host of other Seward freshmen to garner national accolades this year. Carolina Gasparini was named the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year in volleyball, Niem Stevenson was named the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year in men’s basketball, Brent Williams was the Freshman of the Year in baseball, and Paula Lopez won the ITA Rookie of the Year award on the women’s tennis side.