The start of the William Chrisman Invitational didn’t get off on a good note for Kiara Ashurst and Hunter Taylor.
The duo lost the opener against Oak Park’s Kylie Michael and Sophie Sanders in the B pool, but bounced back to combine to win the next six matches and won the championship in their bracket.
That provided the most points for the Bears, but they came just short vying for a chance to repeat as champions in the tournament.
Platte County won the team title with 23 points, two more than Chrisman at the Santa Fe Trail Park tennis complex on Friday.
The Chrisman B team defeated Platte County’s Emma Murray and Annie Archibald to earn the maximum eight points.
“It really drives us and pushed us to do better,” Ashurst said of the budding rivalry with Platte County.
She noted the hot temperatures pushed most players after an overcast sky earlier in the day when the event start at 8 a.m. gave way late morning to sunshine and a heat index pushing into the upper 90s by the time the event ended a little past 4 p.m.
The Pirates and Bears matched up in the A finals and Platte County’s Karlee Chase beat Tori Grant to force a winner-take-all doubles match. In the tiebreaker, the first to 10, Chase and Sydney Bales picked up a 10-8 win, coming back from an 8-7 deficit to beat Gant and Nicole Eppert.
“Team-wise they had a little more depth that we did,” William Chrisman coach Jason Grubb said of the Pirates. “Chase did a good job against Tori’s best stuff and spitting it back at her. It is poetic. Last year Chase lost in a tiebreaker.”
In fact, Chase never got her second-place medal last year and Grubb delivered it to her this year after she got her first-place medal.
Platte County had two first-place finishes, winning the C pool as well.
Chrisman finished with a second (A) and third (C) from Emma Place and Laurie Douglas. The C final was the only one that wasn’t Platte County vs. William Chrisman, as Platte County beat Oak Park.
“We didn’t play our best tennis,” Grubb said. “A lot of girls were focused and played hard, and that is honestly the same thing were doing last year. It just came down to a couple of important shots.”
Third place in the team standings went to Oak Park, which had 18 points. Raymore-Peculiar finished fourth, followed by Belton, Fort Osage, North Kansas City and Winnetonka in the team standings.
The best finish for the Indians came from Elayna Lamb and Emma Brown, who took fifth in the C pool.
The duo beat the eventual double champions Platte County, but lost overall 2-1, losing both singles matches. Chrisman went 2-1 against Fort Osage in the C pool, with Lamb getting a win. Fort Osage swept North Kansas City, 3-0.
“Every team had one loss and one win,” Grubb said. “This tournament forgives you if you are a hard player. Emma (Place) lost in singles but kept winning and took third. There is a lot of tennis. You win and you lose. There is a lot of evaluations that are done by the coaches.”