The Grain Valley boys tennis team barely broke a sweat in a Missouri River Valley Conference West matchup against visiting Odessa Tuesday afternoon – and it had nothing to do with the cooler-than-expected temperatures.

The Grain Valley boys tennis team barely broke a sweat in a Missouri River Valley Conference West matchup against visiting Odessa Tuesday afternoon – and it had nothing to do with the cooler-than-expected temperatures.

The high-flying Eagles improved to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play with a 9-0 victory over the Bulldogs.

Michael Draper disposed of Seth Martinko 8-1 at No. 1 singles to set the stage for the rout.

“We’ve had a lot of success this year, but our ultimate goal is going to state for the first time,” said Draper, the son of coach Randy Draper. “Wanting to play well to get to state keeps you motivated, even though we’ve been winning some matches by scores like this one.”

Earlier this season, the Eagles downed Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit North by identical 9-0 scores.

“I’m not bragging when I say this. I’m just stating a fact,” coach Randy Draper said. “We’ve become a power out in Eastern Jackson County. This is our fourth year, and all the guys know how far we’ve come as a team and how far they’ve come individually.

“And I think that keeps them hungry and keeps them motivated. From Day 1, the improvement these guys have made is pretty remarkable. I’ve seen a bunch of guys try a new sport and fall in love with it.”

Michael Draper teamed with No. 3 singles player Derek Bowlin to claim an 8-1 No. 1 doubles victory.

“Doubles is my favorite part of tennis,” said Bowlin, who won his singles match 8-0. “Michael is a great doubles teammate. He does everything well – forehand, backhand, and he can just smash the ball.

“He’s so intense out there. I do my best to try and calm him down.”

Bowlin’s partner grinned at the comment.

“Derek keeps me in check,” Michael Draper said. “I am competitive, and I love doubles, too. Derek is the perfect partner for me. He gets to everything on the court. I think we complement each other out there.”

No. 2 singles player Dillon Perdue won 8-0. No. 4 Lane Elliott won 8-2. No. 5 Chase Gabriel won 8-4, and No. 6 Theo Nichols claimed an 8-2 victory.

Perdue and Gabriel won their No. 2 doubles match 8-0, and Elliott and Nichols won their No. 3 doubles match 8-2.

This is Coach Draper’s final year with the boys, as he is stepping aside so he can watch Michael play tennis at Johnson County Community College.

“This is a good group to go out with,” Coach Draper said. “They love the sport, and they just seem to get better and better every time they play.”