Brown won 9-7 in the No. 2 singles match Sept. 4 against Staley’s Natalie Thimgan at Park Hill South High School, overcoming deficits of 5-2 and 7-3 in the process. Brown and teammate Halle Nixon then made short 8-0 work of Rebecca Robbins and Courtney Crisafulli in the No. 2 doubles match, much needed for Brown after playing the longest of six singles matches.
“I was a little worn out,” Brown said. “Yes, (the quick win) was nice.”
After Adele Royle and Chandler Adams made a comeback at No. 1 singles, Park Hill South celebrated a sweep in its first win of the season. The Panthers improved to 2-3 with a 9-0 victory Monday at Blue Springs South, after losing three straight to stiff competition to open the season – defending Class 2 team state champion Lee’s Summit North, Lee’s Summit West and Notre Dame de Sion.
Park Hill South finished 12-2 last season with a loss to North in Class 2 sectionals.
With three seniors lost from last year’s top six, the Panthers have experimented with doubles partnerships early in the season but might have finally settled on a lineup against Staley. Jennifer Welch and Emma Ehlers — another pair of seniors — played at No. 3 and won 8-2 in their matchup with the Falcons.
Park Hill South played Blue Springs on Tuesday looking to break back to .500 but results weren’t available at press time. The Panthers play at rival Park Hill this Thursday.
“I think some of the girls were like, ‘What? Usually, we honestly don’t do this,’” said Royle, a two-time Missouri State Tennis Championships singles qualifier (2012-13) and a doubles qualifier as a freshman, of the early-season struggles. “I think they were really excited about the (first) win.
“I think we finally have things worked out. We’ve been trial and error, but it’s kind of hard to do that when you play the best teams.”
Royle improved to 2-2 against Staley with an 8-3 win against Chloe Clement and has now won three straight singles matches after starting 1-2. Her new doubles partnership with Adams started slowly, and Clement and Thimgan took a 6-5 lead before the Panthers’ new No. 1 doubles team rallied to win the final three games with Royle serving in the clincher.
Adams and Ehlers were both 8-0 winners during the singles portion against Staley, a sweep that started Park Hill South rolling.
“We all have a really good time out here no matter what. We love playing tennis,” Royle said after the Staley win. “It’s really nice to get a win finally because it’s a confidence-builder. Now we know we can.”
The Platte County Pirates earned second place at the Benton Invitational last Friday at Noyes Tennis Complex in St. Joseph, Mo. Individually, No. 1 singles player Hannah Fowler earned third place in that flight. Rachel Valentine earned second place in the No. 2 singles flight.
The Pirates took home two doubles titles at the tournament. Madalyn Ivy and Jordan Walker claimed the No. 2 doubles title and Madi Hale and Dana Swisher claimed the No. 3 doubles championship. Shelley and Stephanie Laures took third in the No. 1 doubles flight.
Platte County 6, Belton 0
The Pirates earned a sweep in the schools’ first ever meeting Sept. 3. Platte County improved to 4-0 on the season and extended it’s Suburban League Blue Division winning streak to 19 duals.
The teams did not play doubles due to the extreme heat. Ivy and Valentine picked up wins and have yet to drop a singles match this season.
Park Hill 6, Oak Park 3
The Trojans defeated the Oakies of Oak Park on Sept. 4 at Park Hill High School.
Park Hill took four of the six singles matches and two of the three doubles tilts.
Rock Bridge 9, Park Hill 0
The Trojans dropped all the matches in straight sets after a long bus ride to Columbia on Sept. 3.