The No. 1 doubles team of Stephanie Adams and Payton Swanegan trailed 5-4 before running off six consecutive points to win their match 10-5 and set the tone for the rest of the evening as Blue Springs South rolled 9-0 at home against Staley.
Craig Dierking had one directive for his Blue Springs South girls tennis team heading into doubles play against visiting Staley: “Don’t let up.”
The Jaguars held a 6-0 team lead after singles action Tuesday and Dierking wanted his team to finish the match with a bang.
The No. 1 doubles team of Stephanie Adams and Payton Swanegan trailed 5-4 before running off six consecutive points to win their match 10-5 and set the tone for the rest of the evening as the Jaguars rolled 9-0 at Blue Springs South.
“Just to keep rolling,” Dierking said of his goal for the Jaguars after sweeping singles. “Whenever we go to district play we’re going to have singles and doubles, so just as solid as they were in singles, I want to make sure that they are just as solid in doubles.
“When it comes down to that time of year, we know — do we want to go doubles or singles — then we make those decisions.”
Nothing came easy for Adams and Swanegan, who held leads of 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before Staley’s Paige Allen and Tori Robbins rallied to take a one-point lead. Power shots from Swanegan and steady play from Adams eventually swung the tide in the Jaguars’ favor.
“I think both of us — when we get down — we just kind of think ‘what are we doing wrong?’” Swanegan said of the rally. “At that point we try to figure out exactly what it is and how to fix it. From that point on, we just started playing more consistent and stopped making killer mistakes.”
The Jaguars top four players are all seniors and from the looks of things against Staley, the team has big goals for the season.
“Honestly, the team is really good this year,” said Swanegan, a senior who also won her No. 3 singles match 10-2 against Robbins. “We’re hoping to be district and conference champs as well as making it to state (as a team) and doing well in that. As a team, we’re shooting high this year.”
Adams, a senior who defeated Paige Allen 10-2 in No. 1 singles, said the Jaguars have the makings of a “really good team.”
“I love the girls,” Adams said of her teammates. “I think that it’s a really good team and we’ve been working hard. I think we are going to have a really great season and a real solid team. I’m looking forward to it.”
Makenna Sievers and Morgan Clarke, both seniors, also won in singles. Sievers, the Jaguars’ No. 2 after spending last season at No. 6, defeated Brandi Sheppard 10-0 and Clarke downed Christa Steinbach 10-0.
Sievers and Hailey Swisher won in doubles as did Clarke and Madison McCulloch. Swisher also posted a 10-0 win in singles as well as McCulloch.
“We have four seniors in the top-four right now,” Dierking said. “These seniors have been a part of this program all four years — they’re just a solid group. I think that they are basically all in tune with each other.
“They’re just ready for a special year. I would say our chances for this season are very good. This should be one of the best years South tennis has had in a long time.”
The Jaguars also dominated junior varsity play, downing Staley 9-0.