William Chrisman girls tennis coach Jason Grubb is in his sixth year with the program, and he’s been searching for past school records.
There were no records kept, and even when he consulted who he called “the William Chrisman sports guru,” Bob Buckley, no previous tennis records could be recalled.
However, Grubb has been keeping track of every tennis match since he started coaching, and there is one player who reached a milestone before anyone else. It was senior Ally Cook, Chrisman’s No. 2 tennis player who picked up her 75th career win after earning a 8-0 victory Myranda McKenzie, helping her team take a 6-3 victory against Suburban Middle Seven rival Fort Osage.
That milestone also includes the boys program, which has never had a player reach 75 wins. Cook, who wasn’t aware that she was closing in on 75 wins, flashed a wide smile when notified of the accomplishment.
“It’s something I have been working toward since my freshman season,” Cook said. “Definitely feels good to have all that hard work pay off.”
Cook is a completely different player now, than she was during her freshman year, Grubb said.
“We got to watch Ally be a timid little freshman girl that would barely tap the ball over,” Grubb said. “Now she over-hits a lot of the time. Especially when her grip is messed up. She will put the ball in the woods every once in a while. She hits it hard.”
Grubb then turned toward Cook.
“How tall are you, about 5-foot-5? 5-foot-6?” Grubb asked his No. 2 singles player.
“Five (feet)-1 and a half (inches). I really am,” Cook responded.
“So you see, she’s teeny and she gets as much out of her body as she can,” Grubb said. “If you seen her play doubles nothing gets past her at the net even though she’s so short. She’s just athletic.”
Cook said she considers herself to be more of a soccer player than a tennis player.
“She’s now the all-time record holder for career wins. Not bad for a soccer player,” Grubb quipped.
Cook has grown as a tennis player and her recent success is due in large part to improving her volleys and serves. She did both of those things well on Thursday and so did her doubles partner, Katie Schaefer.
“In my doubles match, my partner, Katie Schaefer, was able to set me up well with her serves, as well,” Cook said.
That doubles match ended with a 8-2 win. Chrisman’s No. 1 doubles team of Tori Gant and Nicole Eppert won 8-3 and the No. 3 duo of Kiara Ashurst and Emilee Jordan won 8-0.
In singles play, Gant won 8-0 and Ashurst overcame a 5-2 deficit to win 8-5 after calling for a line judge, who ended up being Grubb.
“It’s a confidence thing. When she’s confident, she plays good tennis,” Grubb said of Ashurst. “I knew she was going to battle back, I just needed to give her some tough love. I was there watching. That’s basically it.”
Fort Osage three wins came from No. 3 Brooklyne Dover, who won by forfeit after Eppert had to be pulled due to lingering a hip injury; No. 5 Courtney Huffner, who won 8-5; and No. 6 Ashley Daub, who won 8-6.
“I was disappointed in the outcome, I thought we played better than we did today in the last couple of days,” Fort Osage coach Jordan Groves said. “I was really proud of Courtney and Ashley Daub, both. They stuck it out to win those two singles matches.”