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Garay’s National Runner-Up Leads Barton Men’s Tennis to 6th Place Finish at NJCAA Championships


PLANO, Texas ( – The Barton Community College men’s tennis team put a lid on the 2024 season with a 6th place finish this past week at the NJCAA Division I National Championships held at Collin College in Plano, Texas.

Ranked 4th in the final regular season poll, the Cougars went a combined 19-9 in their four days of competition with four of those losses coming in the quarterfinals or later.

Finishing inside the top-10 for the fourth straight year, Barton compiled 28 points for their 6th place finish falling one point shy of conference foe Seward County Community College’s 5th place 29 output. Claiming the team title was Tyler Junior College with 46 points to edge out Region VI member Cowley College’s runner-up 44 accumulation.

Advancing the furthest in the championship side of the bracket, No. 2 draw Gabriel Garaydisplayed his top seed ranking advancing to the National Championship match with three straight two-set victories. Facing second seeded and familiar opponent Reiya Komagata of Cowley, Garay’s sights for a second victory over Komagata on the season drew short 6-3 and 6-0 settling for a national runner-up finish.

A pair of Cougars, Victor Alves in the No. 1 singles draw and Mateo Prado in the No. 5 slot, bounced back from their opening match losses to end the tournament with four and three straight victories respectfully to claim consolation titles.

Barton sent a trio of other singles into the quarterfinals with No. 4 draw and fourth seeded Shane Tapera the lone of the three advancing into the Semifinals before bouncing out to top seed and national runner-up Tomas Quesada Perez 6-1, 6-4.

No. 3 and eighth seeded Fernando Andre had his Cougar career end unexpectedly having to retire in the quarterfinal match against top seed and eventual national champion Alex Despoja of Tyler Junior College while No. 6 and fifth seeded Oliver Naude bowed out to fourth seeded Alexandr Achour 6-4, 6-2 to end his tournament at 1-1.

In doubles No. 2 draw and third seeded Garay and Tapera paced the trio of Cougar teams advancing to the semifinals before dropping 6-3 and 6-1 results to second seeded and eventual national champion Doni Gashi and Dan Persson of Tyler.

No. 3 pairing of Hayden Loffler and Naude had little trouble with their first opponent Coastal Alabama posting 6-3 and 6-2 results after receiving an opening bye. The run would end in the quarterfinals to fourth seeded Tyler 6-1, 6-2.

Seeded sixth in No. 1 doubles draw, Alves and Andre won their first match with 6-3 and 6-3 results before being upset by Iowa Central 7-6(2) and 6-3.

Complete Barton Results
Singles #1 – Victor Alves (4th Seed) – 4-1
1st Rd: lost to Antonin Leborne (ABAC) 6-4, 6-3
Consolation 1st Rd: defeated Asad Okoye (Mesa) 8-3
Consolation 2nd Rd: Bye
Consolation Quarterfinals: defeated Davis Rowton (Lewis & Clark) 8-1
Consolation Semifinals: defeated Blake Robertson (Coastal Alabama) 8-5
Consolation Finals: won on walkover over Tristan Duval (Harford)

Singles #2 – Gabriel Garay (1st Seed) – 3-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: defeated Lucas Fox (Harford) 6-3, 6-2
Quarterfinals: defeated 8th seeded Seth Seely (Colin College) 7-6(3), 6-4
Semifinals: defeated 5th seeded Sebastian De las Salas (Seward County) 7-5, 6-1
Finals: lost to 2nd seeded Reiya Komagata (Cowley) 6-3, 6-0

Singles #3 – Fernando Andre (8th Seed) – 2-1
1st Rd: defeated Andre Dogbefu (USC Sumter) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
2nd Rd: defeated David Voinea (Prairie State) 6-2, 6-4
Quarterfinals: retired to top seeded Alex Despoja (Tyler)

Singles #4 – Shane Tapera (4th Seed) – 2-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: defeated Derrick Namanya (Iowa Central) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2
Quarterfinals: defeated 5th seeded David Roseler (Seward County) 6-4, 6-4
Semifinals: lost to top seeded Tomas Quesada Perez (Eastern Florida State) 6-1, 6-4

Singles #5 – Mateo Prado (4th Seed) 3-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: lost to Tadeo Missan (Iowa Central) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
Consolation 2nd Rd: defeated Santiago Castillo (Coastal Alabama) 8-2
Consolation Quarterfinals: defeated Brock Dawson (Jacksonville) 8-2
Consolation Finals: defeated Knox Waterer (Itawamba) 8-4

Singles #6 – Oliver Naude (5th Seed) – 1-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: defeated Sergi Forcadell (Coastal Alabama) 6-2, 6-1
Quarterfinals: lost to 4th seeded Alexandr Achour (Eastern Florida State) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles #1 – Victor Alves & Fernando Andre (6th Seed) – 1-1
1st Rd: defeated Guido Loayza/Ryan Roberson (Coastal Alabama) 6-3, 6-3
2nd Rd: lost to Amen Prince Gandonou/Hod’Abaio Isak Padio (Iowa Central) 7-6(2), 6-3

Doubles #2 – Gabriel Garay & Shane Tapera (3rd Seed) – 2-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: defeated Stanley Long/Jakub Sevcik (USC Sumter) 5-7, 7-6(0), 7-5
Quarterfinals: defeated Alex Holder/Santiago Torres (Pratt) 7-5, 6-0
Semifinals: lost to 2nd seeded Doni Gashi/Dan Persson (Tyler) 6-3, 6-1

Doubles #3 – Hayden Loffler & Oliver Naude (5th Seed) – 1-1
1st Rd: Bye
2nd Rd: defeated Jack Morris/Evan Stewart (Coastal Alabama) 6-3, 6-2
Quarterfinals: lost to 4th seeded Samer Al Tori/Calvin Golmei (Tyler) 6-1, 6-2