Doubles advantage powers Grain Valley tennis to win

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Grain Valley's Carter Compton slices a shot back at Truman's Connor Pointer in their No. 3 singles match Tuesday at Grain Valley High School. Compton won 10-3 and teamed with brother Kade for a No. 2 doubles win as well to help the Eagles to a 6-3 win over the Patriots.

When Grain Valley doubles teams Carter and Kade Compton and Vincent Lin and Dalton Neale walked off their home courts with impressive wins, a big smile appeared on coach Randy Draper's face.

"It's very nice to go 2-1 in doubles," Draper said after those two victories paved the way to a 6-3 Suburban Middle Six Conference win over the visiting Truman Patriots Tuesday afternoon. "It's even nicer to go 3-0, but if you don't go at least 2-1 it just gives you such a big advantage when it comes to singles."

Following the doubles wins, the Compton twins, Collin Smith and Lin all picked up singles wins to end a match that left both coaches proud of their respective teams.

"I really enjoy it when we play Truman because they make you work for every point," Draper said after his team improved to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. "Scott (Lett's) kids get to every ball and always make you hit one more ball to get a point. That's impressive."

While Lett's Patriots (1-4, 0-1) did not get a team win, No. 1 singles player Aaron Muller and No. 2 Nate Morton picked up individual wins and they teamed up to defeat Ethan Cary and Connor Smith at No. 1 doubles.

Truman's Aaron Muller smacks a forehand return in his No. 1 singles match against Grain Valley's Ethan Cary Tuesday at Grain Valley. Muller prevailed 10-3 but the Patriots lost 6-3.

"I'm really pleased with how our guys played today," Lett said. "When we come out to Grain Valley or Randy brings his kids to Santa Fe (Trail Park, Truman's home court) it's always going to be competitive. We mixed some things up and teamed Aaron and Nate at No. 1 doubles and they really responded with a great win today.

"They basically had one practice and came over here and got a nice win. And Aaron and Nate really played well at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. We're getting better every match."

Muller beat Cary 10-3 and Morton topped Connor Smith 10-6.

Grain Valley's Connor Smith hits a forehand return in his No. 2 singles match against Truman's Nate Morton Tuesday at Grain Valley. Smith lost 10-6 but Grain Valley claimed a 6-3 victory.

The Eagles swept the remaining singles competition with No. 3 Carter Compton beating Connor Pointer 10-3; No. 4 Kade Compton topping Juan Lopez 10-1; No. 5 Collin Smith getting past Bryan Veloz 10-4; and Lin beating Nate Neufeld 10-4.

The Compton brothers defeated Pointer and Veloz 8-1 at No. 2 doubles and Collin Smith and Dalton Neale defeated Lopez and Neufeld 8-2 at No. 3.

"After missing last season, it's just so great to get back on a court to play and return to some normalcy," said Muller, who was part of two Truman wins. "I was really concerned when last season was canceled. I don't think anyone had any idea what was going to happen this year, and we're back playing, we're with our friends on the team and we're having a great time."

Kade and Carter Compton agreed.

"We're playing, we're having fun, we're getting in some good competition and everything is great," Kade said.

Added Carter: "We were hoping there would be a tennis season this spring and Kade and I have been working hard to get ready for it. I'm glad we did because it's just so much to go out and win and continue the great tennis legacy we have at Grain Valley."

Truman's Connor Pointer slices a backhand return toward the net in his No. 3 singles match against Grain Valley's Carter Compton Tuesday at Grain Valley. Pointer lost 10-3 in the Patriots' 6-3 loss to the host Eagles.