The Seminole State College men's tennis team recently competed in the 2012 Fall ITA Central Regional Championships in Arkansas City, Kansas. Nine men from SSC were entered into the singles draw, as well as four doubles teams.
Four teams from around the Region entered players into one draw: Johnson County CC from Overland Park, Kansas; Seward County CC from Liberal, Kansas; Seminole State; and host Cowley County College. Of those four teams, there were 21 players in the singles draw, and nine teams in the doubles draw.
Eight of the nine SSC men advanced to the round of 16, with a couple of big wins by way of Alex Brown taking out Cowley College top player Joshua Coleman in a third set super tiebreaker.
In the Round of 16, four SSC men were able to pick up victories and advance on to the Quarter-Finals. Those were Tendai Tapfuma, Edgar Vitkovski, Wikus Myburgh, and Aramis Azucey. Freshman Trent O'Bannon and Sophomore Dimitar Komov just barely missed joining them, as they lost very close matches in third set tiebreakers.
In the Quarter-Final round Saturday morning, Tapfuma and Myburgh won their matches in straight sets, while Aramis Azucey and Edgar Vitkovski fell. Aramis Azucey had the most thrilling match of the day, with a near upset of #2 seed Daniel Dezamacona from Johnson. Azucey actually had a match point in the super tie-breaker, but let it slip away eventually losing 5-7; 6-3; 11-9. Vitkovski had to play fellow teammate Wikus Myburgh, with Myburgh winning that one 6-4; 6-4.
In the Semi-Final round Saturday evening, Tendai Tapfuma and Wikus Myburgh were once again to strong for their opponents, with both men winning in straight sets. Tapfuma easily defeated Justin Pena from Seward County 6-1; 6-0, while Wikus Myburgh defeated the #2 seed Daniel Dezamacona from Johnson County 6-3; 6-3. With the wins, this set up an all Seminole State singles final.
The championship match was held Sunday morning, Sept 30th at 9:00 AM. Wikus Myburgh came out hot, taking the first set by a score of 6-3. Tapfuma would not give up though; he fought back to win the second set 6-2 and the super tie-breaker 10-7, giving him the Singles title. This is the third straight year that a Seminole State male has won the Central Regional title, and also the third straight year that a native of Zimbabwe won it. Former Trojans Mbonisi Ndimande and Admire Mushonga took the titles in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
In doubles action, all four SSC doubles teams moved on from the Round of 16, to advance to Quarter-Final action. The team of Dimitar Komov and Trent O'Bannon were the only team who actually had to play a match, winning 8-1 over Cowley College's Keller/Rodriguez.
In the quarter-finals, two of the four Trojan teams were victorious once again. Those were the teams of Alex Brown and Edgar Vitkovski who won 8-4 over Alonte/Pena from Seward, and Wikus Myburgh and Tendai Tapfuma who won over teammates Komov & O'Bannon 8-3.
In semi-final action, Myburgh and Tapfuma once again came out on top, winning by a score of 8-6 over Dezamacona and Garcia from Johnson County, sending them to the title match. Alex Brown and Edgar Vitkovski nearly pulled off the upset of the #1 seed from Cowley team of Hoverson/Coleman, but fell 8-6.
The scoring of the finals were switched from pro sets to two out of three sets, but this did not matter for the Trojan men as they easily dispatched the Cowley team 6-0; 6-2 giving Tendai Tapfuma and Wikus Myburgh the ITA Central Region doubles title.
This is the fourth straight year that a Seminole State team has won the doubles title at the ITA Central Region, as well as the past five out of six years.
The singles and doubles wins qualify Tendai Tapfuma and Wikus Myburgh for the ITA Small College National Championships in Mobile, Alabama on October 10-14, 2012. Seminole State men have won two National Championships there, with James Vinkis & Andres Nunes winning the doubles title in 2007 and Mbonisi Ndimande winning the singles title in 2010. Also, two other doubles teams have lost in the National Championship there, with Mbonisi Ndimande & Martin Arguello losing in the Championship in 2009 and Oliver Andersen and Admire Mushonga losing in the Championship in 2011.