Park Hill South’s JD Nassab and Josh Robaska rallied after an opening round loss to reach the medal stand in the Class 2 Missouri State Tennis Championships’ doubles bracket this past weekend at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo.The Panthers’ top duo started with a 7-6, 2-6, 10-7 loss in the opening round to eventual state champions William Tong and Kenji Yanaba of Parkway West, who didn’t lose another set on their way to the title. Nassab, a junior, and Robaska, a senior, came back to win two consolation matches by scores of 8-2 and 8-5 to reach the medal round, which includes the top eight teams. Nassab and Robaska ended up going 2-3 after dropping their final two matches in the consolation semifinals and seventh-place match.
The first doubles team from Park Hill South to qualify for state since Jim Geary and Zack Royle in 2013, Robaska and Nassab earned their spot in the doubles draw after claiming the Class 2 District 15 crown against Park Hill’s Noah Higgins-Dunn and Henry Eckhold in two sets before cruising to the sectional title 6-2, 7-6 against St. Joseph Central’s top duo of Van Hopkins and Alex Fangman.
Park Hill South lost 5-3 in the Class 2 District 15 team championship match to Park Hill, which placed two individual entries into sectional play. Higgins-Dunn and Eckhold went in doubles, and Jake McFee qualified in singles, but both were downed in the winner-take-all sectional match.