Blue Springs had already won two doubles matches to start the first round of the Class 2 District 14 tournament against Truman.
The Wildcats were poised to win their third. The No. 1 doubles team of Luke David and Josh Gordon held a 6-3 lead against Truman’s Blake Savidge and Keegan Welch. However, the Patriots duo battled back to prevent the doubles sweep to earn a 9-8 (7-5 tiebreaker) win. That proved to be the biggest win of the night, according to Truman head coach Scott Lett. His team squeaked out a 5-4 win Monday at Sante Fe Trail Park to advance to today’s semifinals.
“That’s what I love about this team, when you think we’re out of it, we fight and grind,” Lett said. “They turned the tables and you could see it once they got back in it. That was the difference.”
Savidge, Truman’s No. 1 singles player, said he didn’t play particularly well, but he said he and Welch did just enough at the end of the match to pull out the win.
“It would have been tough to get out of a 3-0 hole, because you pretty much have to win out in singles.” Savidge said. “It was really nice to get that win because it was a rough match for Keegan and I. We played all the way to the end and that’s all that matters.”
“We were down 1-4 and figured we had to change something. We were talking about coming to the net more and pick up our feet. We made those changes and came back.”
For Welch, that doubles win was all about guts.
“We just needed to come together,” Welch said. “We put more energy into it so we could fight our way back. We were more aggressive late in the game and it paid off. Blake and I were pumped to win that match.”
That victory loomed large as the Patriots managed to win four out of six singles matches. Truman No. 2 singles player Bryce Idoni overcame a comeback attempt from Gordon to earn the decisive 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 win. Once he scored the final point he flipped his racket while raising his arms in the air. He teammates then went to greet him.
“It feels great,” Idoni said. “I played (Gordon) once before and won. It was up and down throughout the match. Luckily I was able to win.”
Added Lett: “He was down big in the first set and came back and won it. He came back after losing the second and got his opponent to play his game in the third. That was great to see.”
Other singles winners for Truman included Savidge over David (6-0, 6-3); No. 4 Brock Thomas over Daniel Gordon (6-0, 6-4); and No. 3 Cooper Clements over Carson Rothove (6-1, 6-1).
Blue Springs coach Anna Cole said she was pleased with the fight that her team put up. She said though her Wildcats had struggled in doubles for most of the season, they came to play Monday. The No. 2 team of Rothove and Daniel Gordon earned an 8-5 victory over Clements and Thomas; and the No. 3 duo of Jay’Von McKinney and Jorge Martinez topped Nestor Olivas and Idoni 9-7.
“Our game plan going in was to win doubles,” Cole said. “I told the guys not to get down on themselves and stay positive. I told them it’s going to be a long day. They worked really hard. I am proud of them.”
“We went 0-3 in doubles a lot this year. I really pushed them to win doubles today. They came through for me today. I am pretty proud we went 2-1 in doubles.”
In singles play, No. 5 McKinney won 6-4, 6-1 over Welch and No. 6 Drew Rudolph rallied for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 win against Olivas.
Truman advances to play top-seeded Lee’s Summit at 4 p.m. today. Lee’s Summit North, a 5-0 winner over Fort Osage, will travel to No. 2 seed Blue Springs South.
WILLIAM CHRISMAN 5, KEARNEY 2: Bears coach Jason Grubb said it has been a while since his team has made if out of the first round in districts.
And without two of their varsity starters, the Bears earned a victory over Kearney in the Class 2 District 15 tournament Monday at Santa Fe Trail Park.
“It was kind of a disheartening day even though my guys played hard,” Grubb said. “They played hard for a couple of guys. We lost a couple of our varsity guys for the year due to some disciplinary things that happened outside of our tennis control.
“We moved everyone up and our guys stepped up in singles. It was a good day for us. We haven’t been out of the first round in a few years, so this feels good.”
Chrisman only got one doubles win from the No. 2 duo or Pierrick Gourlet and Adam Hamilton (8-1),
In singles play, No. 2 Shaun Anderson (6-4, 6-2), No. 3 Dakoda James (6-1, 6-0), No. 4 Caysen Woods (6-2, 6-4) and Coltyn Weston 3-6, 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker), 6-1 earned the wins necessary for Chrisman to advance to today’s 4 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Liberty.