The Lee’s Summit North boys tennis team doubled its fun Thursday afternoon at Santa Fe Trail Park by claiming must-win victories in all three doubles matches to edge Truman in a tight 5-4 contest that pleased coaches from both teams.
“We take a lot of pride in our doubles play,” North coach Stu Reece said after his No. 1 doubles team Patrick Dowd and Sriram Paravastu forgot about their singles losses to claim a thrilling 9-7 victory over Truman’s Blake Savidge and Jake Howard.
“We have real quality doubles teams, and those kids knew needed to win all three matches to beat Truman,” Reece added. “We talk a lot about the score being 0-0 – no matter what the score actually is. We want the kids to reset themselves, reset their thinking. And our guys did that today. We didn’t have much success in singles, and they reset their thinking to where all they wanted to do was go out and have success in doubles competition.”
North’s No. 3 team of Seth Templeman and C.I. McGurk started the doubles run with an 8-5 victory. No. 2 team Logan French and Connor Young followed with an 8-4 victory – placing the spotlight on the No. 1 doubles match that had players, fans and parents from both teams creating an electric atmosphere.
“We took a big step tonight – especially with our No. 1 varsity doubles team,” Truman coach Scott Lett said. “We’ve been working so hard at practice and today, we saw some of the results of that practice. I am so proud of what the kids did in singles, winning four of the matches. I loved what we did in singles play – and our doubles play is getting better and better. Blake and Jake gave it everything they had. Those kids from North just went out and won the match, we didn’t do anything to help them win, they just won it. So, hats off to North for the comeback tonight.”
Savidge, at No. 1 singles, started the success for the Patriots with a 10-6 victory over Dowd. No. 2 singles player Howard followed with an 11-10 (7-5) victory over French in a tiebreaker. No. 3 Chris Fielder won 10-8 and No. 5 Trent Fiene claimed a 10-8 victory.
North’s No. 4 singles player Young won 10-4 and No. 6 Chris Foelke won 10-0.
“I felt so much energy out there today,” said Paravastu, whose sweeping serve played a big part in the Broncos’ deciding doubles victory. “In our program, we talk a lot about energy, and playing in the moment. Patrick and I each lost our singles matches, but we weren’t thinking about that once doubles began. We assessed the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents after playing them in singles and used that to our advantage.”
Dowd said that there was never a moment of doubt that the Broncos would claim the victory by sweeping doubles play.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t play better in singles, but we were very confident going into doubles,” Dowd said. “It was crazy how it all came down to our doubles match. There were a lot of players and fans from both teams watching and that created a lot of energy. It was a lot of fun. Truman really did well in the singles and we came back and did well in the doubles.”
Savidge, who is just a sophomore, believes the best tennis is just around the corner for the Patriots.
“Naturally, I wish I was talking to you after a victory,” Savidge said, “but the fact that we dominated singles play is really encouraging for our team. It would have been huge for our team to win that last doubles match and help Truman win today, but I thought we played really well and the North team just played better. There are so many positives we can take away from today. I’m bummed we lost, but happy that we played so well in singles and showed a lot of improvement in doubles – even though they won all three matches.”