The Blue Springs South tennis juggernaut continues to roll.
And Tuesday afternoon at Young Park, No. 2 singles player Brady Dunlap was at the helm, along with a teammate who overcame a recent illness to make sure his doubles partner Sean Nguyen would have a familiar face by his side.
Dunlap topped Truman’s Cooper Mangels 6-2, 6-2 to pick up the Jaguars’ fifth victory of the afternoon after they swept the Patriots in doubles play on the way to a 5-0 Class 2 District 14 semifinal win.
Weather permitting, the Jaguars will play host to Lee’s Summit North – a 5-3 winner over Lee’s Summit in the other semifinal – at 4 p.m. today. Heavy rain showers are in the forecast, which could push the district final to Thursday.
“It’s always cool to get the win that clinches a victory for your team, especially a district victory,” Dunlap said. “Right now, we’re playing some great tennis. Truman is a really good team, and to win 5-0 shows how well we’re playing in doubles and singles.”
Dalton Michael, who did not play singles because he was battling flu-like symptoms, joined Nguyen in doubles play and they topped Blake Savidge and Mangels 8-1. Other doubles winners were Dunlap and Wyatt Walker (8-3) and Chase Klosener and Patterson Fallis (8-4).
“Blake is such a great player and competitor and I really wanted to be out there with Sean in our No. 1 doubles match,” Michael said. “I wasn’t 100 percent, but I was able to play and it was great to get a win to help us win the district semifinals.”
Nguyen praised his doubles partner’s effort on the court.
“I didn’t really see any difference in the way Dalton played,” the freshman No. 1 player said. “I might have had to cover a little more ground because he wasn’t covering as much of the court as he usually does – because he was feeling kind of sick – but he came out and played great overall.”
Klosener was the other singles winner, topping Chris Fielder 6-0, 6-2. The other matches had not finished when the Jaguars reached the necessary five wins to advance.
“The guys played some very good, solid tennis,” South coach Nathan Mooney said. “I’ve seen some upsets in matches like this, and we addressed that. Truman is such a solid team and Blake Savidge is a very good singles and doubles player.
“We took care of business in doubles, which was played first today, and that played a big role in our success in singles. The guys went into singles with a lot of confidence after going 3-0 in doubles.
“Starting 3-0 provides such a spark to our team and I think that showed with our strong first sets in all our singles matches. Truman really stepped up in the second sets and caused us to miss some shots we were making in the first sets. They played us tough in those second sets.”
While he was not pleased with the outcome, Truman coach Scott Lett liked his team’s aggressive play.
“We were gritty out there, we played hard,” Lett said. “It’s tough going into singles down 0-3, but I never saw one of my guys let up. I’m proud of them, and have been proud of them all season.”
LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH 5, LEE’S SUMMIT 3: Lee’s Summit North couldn’t manage a No. 1 singles or doubles win Tuesday, but the Broncos still had enough to get past rival Lee’s Summit and advance to today’s championship match.
The Broncos won two of three doubles matches before pulling it out with three singles wins. Logan French and Connor Young won 8-1 at No. 2 and Ben Durbin and Joe Hammerly won 8-6 for a 2-1 advantage after doubles play.
“I was really pleased with the focus everyone showed throughout their match,” Broncos coach Stu Reece said. “Logan French is our only singles player who competed in districts last season, so it was great for all the other guys to get that first victory under their belt and move into the finals tomorrow.”
CJ McGurk (6-2, 6-4), Jacob Welsh (6-1, 6-4) and Hammerly (6-1, 6-2) won in singles. Logan Leslie was leading 6-4, 5-0 when the match was stopped by Hammerly’s win.