Michael Oni likes to hype himself up.
The Blue Springs No. 2 boys tennis player was muttering to himself things like, “Come on. Just two more points,” and, “Don’t let down now.”
He certainly didn’t let down Wednesday against William Chrisman. He dominated his singles match against Austin Twenter 10-1 and teamed up with Cameran Handy to win a doubles match 8-3 to help guide the Wildcats to a 7-2 victory at Sante Fe Trail Park.
“I was just trying to keep my head in it and stay focused,” Oni said. “I was just thinking ‘OK, I just need one more point.’ I had some strokes today and felt really good out there.”
In his singles match, he started with a 2-1 lead and won the next eight points to easily take his match. After he was done, he was on the bench near the No. 5 and No. 6 singles shouting out cheers to his teammates, giving them encouragement.
“I want them to get hyped up with me,” Oni said. “If I can win, they can, too.”
That’s just the way Oni is and it helps when he’s playing doubles, too, Wildcats coach Mary Humphreys said.
“He’s really good in doubles because he’s really good at getting his partner pumped up,” Humphreys said. “He’s like our team cheerleader. He’s also a really good player and has a couple of college coaches looking at him.”
Three other Wildcats won both their doubles and singles matches, including No. 1 doubles team Jordan Warner and Gabe Roye, who won 8-5. Roye, like Oni, also won his No. 3 singles match handily, defeating Brett Wilson 10-4.
It was a bit of a nerve-wrecking experience for Roye, who had to battle bug bites on the court.
“I was feeling really good out there but I was having some problems because I was getting eaten up by bugs,” Roye said. “I was just trying to keep my focus while killing a bug every 5 seconds.
“It was our third match playing against each other and we both each won once before today, so it felt really good to get the win.”
Warner had a bit of a tougher time defeating Logan Heyer in the No. 4 match. Warner led for most of the match until Heyer came back and took a 8-7 lead. Warner then rallied for an 11-9 win in the final match after his scorching forehand ricocheted off the end of Heyer's racket and went straight up and down to the court.
Blue Springs’ other wins came from No. 1 singles player Blake Summers and No. 6 Jackson Riggs, who each won 10-5.
“I thought we played really well and we really stepped up in singles,” Humphreys said. “We usually struggle at the No. 3 and No. 4 (singles), so to get wins there is huge.”
For Chrisman, the No. 3 doubles team of Brett Wilson and Shaun Anderson won 8-5 and No. 5 singles player Anderson led from start to finish in a 10-7 win. Chrisman coach Jason Grubb said it was important for his team to take two out of the three doubles matches but his team was unable to do so.
“We had to really game plan for their No. 1 (Summers),” Grubb said. “We knew were going to have to take at least two out of three doubles matches and steal some singles matches to back up (No. 1 singles player) Taniela Faletau. We played hard all day but Blue Springs winning two out of three doubles matches gave them a nice springboard."