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Chrisman stays hot, dominates Patriots

By Cody Thorn
Special to The Examiner
William Chrisman's Mackenzie Alfrey hits a forehand return in her No. 4 singles match against Truman's Kaleigh Harger Tuesday at Santa Fe Trail Park. Alfrey won 8-0 to help the Bears to a 9-0 victory.

William Chrisman is not only winning tennis matches, they are dominating.

The latest example was a 9-0 victory over rival Truman on Tuesday at Santa Fe Trail Park – the fourth straight win for the Bears in the series.

Chrisman allowed only eight points in singles and two in doubles to win a second straight match, 9-0, following that same score victory over North Kansas City on Monday. Chrisman is now 4-2 overall and three of the wins have come from 9-0 victories – the other was blanking Fort Osage the week prior.

“We have 14 seniors, starting seniors one through nine, so to have us all win just feels really good,” Chrisman No. 3 singles player Laurie Douglas said. “We beat North Kansas City and they 9-0ed Truman so it was a given we should’ve won this. To shut them down, quick and fast is what makes it good. It has been pretty fun. Wins are always more fun but to have that many 9-0s just makes it all that much better.”

Experience, or rather lack thereof, showed for Truman. The top two players for Chrisman are Tori Gant and Kiara Ashurst are both four-year players with 80-plus wins each to their name. Both were matched up with sophomores and rolled to wins.

Gant beat Emily Binnicker 8-1, while Ashurst won by the same score against Carolyn Schultz. Douglas won 8-0 against Rachel Malelega at No. 3 and Mackenzie Alfrey blanked Kaleigh Harger 8-0 at No. 4 singles.

“I want to see the positive trend of our girls and there were a lot of 8-0s and 8-1s,” said Chrisman coach Jason Grubb, a 2006 Truman graduate. “That is really good. Seven of the nine were 8-0 or 8-1. You want to put the pedal down. It is nice to win and Truman is young and they will be pretty good, but we should come into the match and feel good about our chances.”

In doubles, Gant and Douglas won 8-0 against Binnicker and Schultz at No. 1, while Krystal Olson and Alfrey won 8-1 at No. 2 against Malelega and Michelle Gonzalez, which was the final match of the day.

Ashurst and Emma Place topped Harger and Adrianne Simmons 8-0 in the other doubles match.

Truman fell to 1-6 on the season and the last four matches have been 9-0 losses. Five of the six losses this year have been by that score for a rather green Patriots squad.

Truman's Rachel Malelega hits a return shot in Tuesday's 9-0 loss to rival William Chrisman.

“We are young and have been young all season,” Truman coach Scott Lett said. “We’ve got to do the little things to get us to a point where we can compete against an experienced Chrisman team. They did a great job of showing us where we are going, but definitely 0-9 is not what we wanted to see. I do know we are getting better, but we are taking our lumps. It is a mental game and we talk about that a lot. I have a lot of girls that are playing for the first time and or playing way up.

“Coach (Grubb) and I were talking. What makes tennis or sports so cyclical; it was three years ago, it was flipped-flopped. I had my top seven as seniors and nine top of 11 were seniors. Now … it’s tough.”

Truman and Chrisman will both be at the Belton Tournament on Wednesday and both will be at Winnetonka Tournament on Saturday. There is a chance these two teams will run into each other again this week in those tournaments. Chrisman will also have another dual this week, hosting Grain Valley on Thursday – meaning Friday will be the only idle day this week for the Bears.