Freshman's dramatic win extended Platte County tennis' season into district semi

Platte County’s chance to continue its season came down to a freshman’s singles match. Continuing a strong early season, Hannah Valentine prevailed 6-2, 6-2 against Kearney senior Jennifer Cates on Monday, Sept. 28 at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo. The win clinched a 5-4 victory for the Pirates in the Class 2 District 16 first-round matchup, advancing them to the semifinals to face three-time defending champion Liberty, which won 5-1 on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Cates has lost only two matches this season, both to Valentine.

Platte County won the rubber match between the Suburban Conference Blue Division rivals, less than two weeks after Kearney ended the Pirates’ 31-match league winning streak. The Bulldogs again took a 2-1 lead after doubles with Hannah Valentine and Madalyn Ivy at No. 2 doubles the lone winners for Platte County.

Kearney expanded its lead to 3-1 before wins for Rachel Valentine (No. 1 singles), Ivy (No. 2) and Stephanie Laures (No. 3) helped forge a tie at 4-4. Rachel Valentine’s win extended her program record for most wins at No. 1 singles in a season.

Platte County’s season continues Friday, Oct. 2 with the Class 2 District 16 individual tournament, which will be held in Liberty, Mo. The Pirates hope to advance an entrant to sectional play for only the second time in program history.

Platte County finished the regular season at 13-2 but lost two of its final four. The Pirates swept Belton 9-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 22 but lost 8-1 to St. Joseph Central on Thursday, Sept. 24, capping off a stretch of eight competitions in 10 days. Hannah Valentine scored the Pirates only win at No. 4 singles.

Despite losing its 31-match conference winning streak to Kearney the previous week, Platte County won a share of the Red Division crown at 9-1, splitting it with the Bulldogs.

Park Hill South 5, Park Hill 3

Park Hill scored a sweep in the first round of the Class 2 District 15 team tournament Monday, Sept. 28. The Trojans earned a rematch with second-seeded Park Hill South on Tuesday, Sept. 29, which Park Hill South won 5-3 and advanced to play St. Teresa's Academy in the Wednesday, Sept. 30 final.

Park Hill South won the regular season meeting 8-1.

Park Hill ended the regular season at 6-11, beating Truman and losing to St. Joseph Central in the final week of the regular season to close out Suburban Conference Red Division play. The Trojans finished 3-2 in league, third overall.

Park Hill South (11-3) went 2-0 in Red Division play during the final week of the regular season, which included five matches in five days. The Panthers went 3-2 overall with sweeps of Truman and Ruskin capping off an unbeaten run through the league and earned the No. 2 seed behind St. Teresa’s in the six-team District 15 field.

St. Teresa’s handed Park Hill South its second loss of the season on Monday, Sept. 21 by a score of 6-3, and the Panthers lost 9-0 to Pembroke Hill on Friday, Sept. 25 in the regular season finale.