Even a couple unexpected rain showers couldn’t stop the Independence Tennis Association’s 15th annual End of the Summer Tournament.
Despite a couple delays on Sunday, the tourney’s scheduled conclusion, the ITA tournament wrapped up Monday with the Men’s Open division championship.
Michael Draper, a Grain Valley High School graduate and Baker University player, came from behind to down Jim Stoner of Higginsville for the Men’s Open title, topping the tournament’s largest field of 17. Draper won the first set 6-1, lost the second set 6-1 but then won a 10-5 tiebreaker in the match played in Odessa.
Despite the rain trouble Sunday, tournament organizer Jody McClain, an Independence resident and a Blue Springs High School coach, said the tournament was a success with more than 60 entries, including several Eastern Jackson County residents along with players from Harrisonville, Odessa, Higginsville, North Kansas City, Marshall and Gardner, Kan.
“It was a great tournament, and very family oriented,” McClain said. “In our mixed doubles division, we had husbands and wives competing and father/daughters competing.
“The tourney ran smooth – lots of comradarie, family atmosphere, great tennis and sportsmanship from our 15-year-old to our 76-year-old. Tennis is about making friends!”
After uninterrupted play on Friday and Saturday, Sunday morning’s finals were delayed by the first rain shower. After the courts were squeegeed around 11 a.m. and nearly dry, another round of rain hit the courts until 12:30 p.m. Players and parents both helped to clear the water, and play resumed around 2 p.m. and finished at about 5 p.m.
In addition to Draper’s win, Blake Savidge of Independence, a Truman High School student, claimed the Boys 16-18 title by topping Blue Springs South High School player Nic Mandina, 6-4, 6-3, in the championship match.
In the Ladies Singles division championship, Emily Daily of Kansas City topped Alissa Rasmussen of Blue Springs 6-0, 6-0.
Ray Moore of Independence claimed the Men’s 55 and Older Singles title, defeating Rick Clinch of Marshall 7-6, 6-1 in the final.
In Mixed Doubles, Jon and Allison Carenza of Blue Springs had to go to a tiebreaker to edge Terry and Michelle Schaeffer of Raytown for the title. After losing 6-1 in the first set and winning the second 6-4, the Carenzas won a 10-6 tiebreaker.
In Men’s Open Doubles, Stoner got the title this time, teaming with Michael Clemmons of Gardner, Kan., to down Steve Winship of Blue Springs and Mason Short of Independence 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match.