• Prep tennis roundup: Jags, Eagles advance in consolation bracket

  • As they’ve done so many times this season, Paul Province and Alec Barber picked each other up when they needed it most.

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  • As they’ve done so many times this season, Paul Province and Alec Barber picked each other up when they needed it most.
    The Blue Springs South duo won their opening match against Ladue Horton Watkins before taking a tough loss to Columbia Rock Bridge, but won their third contest against Joplin to advance in the consolation bracket of the Missouri Class 2 State Doubles Championships in Springfield.
    Province and Barber started the day by nipping Eric Peters and Douglas Wilen 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 7-6 (8-6). But in their second match against Rock Bridge’s Rohit Rao and Jacob Winton, Barber suffered a severe calf cramp and was barely able to finish the match.
    That injury lingered in the day’s final match against Joplin’s Luke Frogge and Edran Ali, but Province carried the squad until Barber regained his mobility and they were able to pull out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 triumph.
    “Alec started off not moving real well,” South coach Sheri Rehmer said. “Paul was playing three-fourths of the court and was just phenomenal. As time went on, Alec decided if he was going to go down he was going down swinging. He gradually got more movement, ran down a few shots that saved us and it gave them both energy.”
    The Jags will take on Parkway Central tomorrow and if they win they will play for fifth place.
    “They both showed tremendous tenacity,” Rehmer said. “It was like they don’t want it to end. All year long they’ve picked each other up and I can’t tell you how great Paul was today. He was a man out there.”
    In the Class 1 bracket, Grain Valley’s squad of Theo Nichols and Lane Elliott also made it to the second day by topping Arcadia Valley’s Brian LaValle and Jeremiah Robinson 6-3, 6-1, before falling to the MICDS duo of Tyler Raclin and Geoffrey Raclin. The Eagles then regrouped and bested Logan-Rogersville’s James Ethridge and Matthew Gargland 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) to stay alive.
    “They had real good ground strikes today,” Grain Valley coach Mary Elliot said. “They struggled at the net early, but once they calmed down and saw they could compete they were able to move up into the net and be more aggressive. It’s all about being aggressive and doing what they can do well. They were able to play to their strengths once they got into a groove.”

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