After her 6-1, 6-2 win against William Chrisman’s Katie Schaefer, Blue Springs No. 4 player Malina McGaw got a suggestion from her mother.
“You should eat another Baconator tomorrow,” she said to her daughter.
The Baconator, a bacon cheeseburger made at Wendy’s, was something McGaw ate before Tuesday’s Class 2 District 14 semifinal match against the Bears.
The freshman teamed up with Caitlyn Sporing for a dominant 8-0 doubles win and won her singles match 6-2, 6-1 to help the Wildcats claim a 5-0 decision at Baumgardner Park.
“I had a double bacon cheeseburger and I hope to have another before tomorrow’s match,” McGaw said. “I had a Dr. Pepper, too.”
That was jokingly the magic formula to her success Tuesday. She and Sporing were responsible for three of the team’s five wins needed to advance to the district championship. Blue Springs will face Grain Valley, a 5-3 winner over Blue Springs South in the other semifinal, at 4 p.m. today at Baumgardner Park.
McGaw was one of a handful of players who made considerable progress in the final two weeks of the season. She faced Schaefer earlier in the year and earned a more decisive victory the second time around.
“I improved from the last time I played her,” McGaw said. “I was more consistent getting the ball over the net and my serves are a lot stronger now than they were at the beginning of the season.
“We (Sporing and I) played the best we have all season. We worked really well together, even more than usual. We were in and out in under 10 minutes.”
Added Blue Springs coach Jody McClain of McGaw: “She’s improved so much as a freshman. Her tenacity, her willingness to stay on the point is incredible. She has definitely produced results that I wasn’t expecting in her first year.”
That was the same story for Blue Springs No. 3 doubles team Jenna Pope and Dani Madison, who defeated Izzy Jaynes and Kiara Ashurst 8-6, which was the Chrisman duo’s first loss all season. Earlier in the season, Pope and Madison lost to Jaynes and Ashurst 8-2.
“Me and my partner did better at the net,” Madison said of her doubles win. “We did a good job getting the ball back over the net even though it was a little windy at times.”
McClain credited her No. 3 team’s recent success to playing with more consistency.
“The consistency of their play has improved,” McClain said. “They are willing to pay the price and stay out there as long as they need to. Jenna’s serves and Dani’s aggressiveness at the net has made them a better team.”
Sporing is player who’s been consistent for Blue Springs all season – consistently dominant. She didn’t lose a single game in doubles of singles, as she rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Tori Gant in No. 1 singles.
“I did play extremely well today,” Sporing said. “I think it’s just the (postseason) spirits. It makes you pumped up and ready to play. It’s state season, it’s time to grind.”
Blue Springs’ other win came from the No. 1 doubles team of Allie Brown and Bentley Walters, who prevailed 8-3 over Ally Cook and Tori Gant.
For Chrisman, it was an end to its best season under head coach Jason Grubb. He said he was pleased with the way his team played despite the loss and is optimistic about the team’s future after winning a Suburban Middle Seven conference title this season.
“I honestly couldn’t be more proud,” Grubb said. “You’ve seen where we’ve been and where we are going. We’re going to continue to work and get better. When we played them before, my No. 1 doubles team was dominated off the court. We played them tough today and had a 3-2 lead at one point. We had chances to take that.
“Being 10-4 is a pretty good season for a coach that has never seen a winning season. They’ll take this loss and continue to grow. I will coach up the fundamentals and we’ll get them where they need to be to win this district title.”
GRAIN VALLEY 5, BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH 3: The Grain Valley girls tennis team will play in the Class 2 District 14 championship for the second year in a row.
The Eagles won two doubles matches and three singles matches as they gutted out a 5-3 win over Blue Springs South in the district semifinals.
They will play Blue Springs in the championship at 4 p.m. today at Baumgardner Park.
The No. 1 doubles team of Kendra Sibert and Ryan Deaton won 8-2 over Francesca Klosener and Grace Allen and the No. 3 duo of Bailey McKay and Mackenzie Wagner won 8-6 over Peyton Caldwell and Ashley Cooper.
In singles play, Sibert beat Khiara Cox 6-4, 6-0; McKay beat Caldwell 1-6, 6-2, 6-2; and Wagner defeated Cooper 6-0, 6-1 for Grain Valley.
For South, the team of Cox and Jasmine Tucker won 8-3 over Alyssa Owens and Madison Shields. In singles play, Tucker won 6-4, 6-3 over Owens and Allen won 6-2, 6-1 over Shields.
“The girls came out and played their best match of the season,” South coach Jake Estep said. “The last time we played them our No. 2 doubles team got smoked. This time they got a dominating 8-3 win. The girls just showed fire tonight that we had a hard time showing all season, so I was proud of their effort. We almost got them.”
LEE’S SUMMIT WEST 5, LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 0: Lee’s Summit North’s team season came to an end with a loss to crosstown rival Lee’s Summit West in the Class 2 District 13 semifinals at West.
West advances to today’s championship match against state power St. Teresa’s Academy. North hosts the individual district tournament at 8 a.m. Friday.