Platte County won four of the five individual flights in the Benton Invitational on Friday, Aug. 4 at Noyes Tennis Complex in St. Joseph, Mo. while capturing the team tournament for the second time in three years. In the finals, the Pirates beat Chillicothe 4-1 after losing to the Hornets in the same match last year. The tournament features two singles and three doubles flights with individual points earned for margin of victory and more weight given to matches on the championship side of the eight-team bracket.
Platte County beat St. Joseph Lafayette and Trenton by identical scores of 5-0 to reach the championship round.
Aliya Harsh and Lauren Laderoute erased a 9-7 deficit and won the final four games to steal an 11-9 victory against Chillicothe in the B doubles match. That locked up the team title for the Pirates and the flight championship for Laderoute and Harsh.
Hannah Helmer and Sage McGehe — both juniors — made their varsity debut and went unbeaten in C singles. Due to the tournament’s format, eight players instead of the normal six are required to participate.
Rachel Valentine (A singles) and Hannah Valentine (B singles) also went undefeated, while Madalyn Ivy and Stephanie Laures were runners-up in A doubles, losing 10-7 to Chillicothe’s Renee Downing and Julia Minns in the championship. Laures played without a cast on her left forearm for the first time this season after breaking the arm in a preseason dirt bike accident.
In the defacto A singles championship match, Rachel Valentine rushed to a 5-0 lead and held on for a 10-8 win against Kelly Westphal, who won last year’s meeting between the two in the Benton Invitational B singles championship match 10-1.
Platte County 9, Belton 0
Platte County tried out two new doubles combinations in a dual sweep of Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Hannah Valentine and Rachel Valentine won at No. 2 doubles, while Laures and Ivy teamed up for a victory at No. 1. The No. 3 duo of Laderoute and Harsh remained unbeaten on the season with a win. Platte County improved to 4-0 in duals entering a Tuesday, Sept. 8 Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup with Grandview. The results were not available at The Citizen’s deadline.