When Jackson Burns entered his No. 6 singles match, the Blue Springs South tennis player had no idea he could wrap up a big Suburban Big Six victory over crosstown rival Blue Springs Thursday afternoon at Baumgardner Park.
The Jaguars had claimed victories in all three doubles matches and Kenny Xiao breezed to a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles, to set the stage for Burns’ 6-1, 6-4 victory, which was the fifth win of the day for the victorious South team.
South wound up with an 8-1 victory in the first conference match for either team.
The lone Blue Springs victory came at No. 1 singles as Blake Summers won 6-2, 6-0.
“It was cool to win the match that helped us beat Blue Springs, but there wasn’t a lot of pressure,” Burns said. “We won all three doubles matches, and I don’t play doubles, so I really wanted to win my singles match to help us win. It’s always good to beat your rival, and I was pretty happy with the way I played today. There was a strong wind, and I had to adjust to that.”
The No. 1 doubles team of Dalton Michael and Nic Mandina claimed an 8-1 victory, No. 2 Chase Klosener and Xiao won 8-3 and Brady Dunlap and Zane Cady claimed an 8-4 victory to set the stage for singles action in which the Jaguars needed just two wins to claim the match.
“It’s a great way to start conference and I was really happy with the way the guys played,” South coach Nathan Mooney said. “Early in the season, we lost some matches after going 0-3 or 1-2 in doubles. I talked with the guys about getting better in doubles and I guess they were listening. They couldn’t have played any better than they played today.”
Rounding out the South wins were No. 2 Dalton Michael, 6-2, 6-2; No. 4 Klosener, 6-0, 6-1; and No. 5 Brady Dunlap, who won 6-0, 6-0.
“Our only varsity player who returned from last year was Summers at No. 1, and he’s played well,” first-year Blue Springs coach Mary Humphreys said. “South is a good team, a deep team. They play well at doubles and singles and they really dominated play today. But I saw a lot of good things from our guys today. We went out and competed.”
Summers was pleased to walk away with at least one win at No. 1 singles.
“You wish everyone would win, but that didn’t happen, so I’m happy I was able to win my match,” Summers said. “They’re our rival and you always want to do well against your rival. The wind was a little bit of a factor today, but after some of the crazy wind we’ve played in this season, you just get used to it.”