By ROY ALLEN
Seward sports information director
The No. 5 Seward County Lady Saints couldn’t have written a much better script for their opening day of tennis action in 2017 on Friday as they swept a pair of ranked opponents in No. 12 North Central Texas and No. 17 Jacksonville by 9-0 scores to begin the season 2-0.
In their first match of 2017, Seward took on North Central Texas in Plano, Texas. The Lady Saints and Lady Lions got things going with doubles play that Seward dominated, getting an 8-0 win from Thalita Rodrigues and Lisa Suzuki at No. 1, an 8-2 victory from Steffeny Burmudez and Sarah Manseri at No. 2, and an 8-4 win at No. 3 from Madison Hoelting and Tadi Mrewa to take a 3-0 lead into singles play.
It was more domination from the Lady Saints as singles action got going as 9th ranked Rodrigues defeated 35th ranked Ana Orozco 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 and Manseri matched 6-1 scores against Essence Green at No. 2 to clinch the match for Seward. Suzuki cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 while Bermudez won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 4 to put Seward up 7-0. The only close set of the match came at No. 5 where Martina Borges outlasted Augustina Grimolizzi 7-6 in the first before finishing her off 6-1 in the second and Fernanda Santana cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6 to finish off the sweep for the Lady Saints.
On paper, the Lady Saints second match of the day looked like it would be a good early season test against No. 17 Jacksonville, but it was far from that. The Jaguars gave Seward three points from defaults to start things and even with a shifted lineup, with the Lady Saints top four players taking a rest, Seward dominated.
Playing at No. 1 doubles, Hoelting and Mrewa took an 8-2 decision and Borges and Santana matched that score at No. 2 to give Seward a 5-0 lead. Mrewa played at the No. 1 spot in singles for Seward and had no trouble in a 6-0, 6-0 victory while Santana played at No. 2 and came away with a 6-1, 6-0 win to put the Lady Saints up 7-0. Borges took a 6-1, 6-4 decision at No. 3 and Hoelting finished off the day with a shutout against Allison Singleton to give the Lady Saints another 9-0 sweep.
The Lady Saints will have their hands full on Saturday in Dallas where they will take on No. 10 St. Petersburg followed by top ranked Tyler to wrap up their weekend.