Eva Kresovic turned in an impressive debut in the Class 2 Missouri State Tennis Championships over the weekend.
One of two qualifiers in the individual brackets, Park Hill South’s star freshman reached the singles semifinal and took the most games from eventual champion Caroline Pozo of Lafayette (Wildwood) in her four state matches. Kresovic came back to win the third-place match, becoming the fourth medalist in singles for the Panthers since 2010.
Kresovic opened play at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo. with a pair of dominant wins on Friday, becoming the first Park Hill South singles player to make the semifinals since Michelle Royle placed third in 2010.
In the opening round, Kresovic put up a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Brooke Smith of Glendale and then assured a state medal with a 6-1, 6-3 quarterfinal win over Caitlyn Sporing of Blue Springs.
Kresovic then met up with Pozo, the two-time defending state champion, in Saturday morning’s semifinal.
Pozo won 6-1, 6-4 to reach a fourth straight state final on her way to a third straight state championship. She beat Mary Burger of St. Joseph’s Academy 6-3, 6-1 in the final.
Kresovic came back to top Rock Bridge’s Mary Hose in the third-place match 6-1, 6-2.
Park Hill South junior Abby Norris and freshman Chloe Norris also made state debuts in the doubles bracket, finishing 1-2. The sister duo opened with an 8-5 win over Kaitlyn Snyder and Kaytlin Pearce of Republic on Friday before dropping into the consolation bracket with a loss to Faith Wright and Katherine Dudley of Rock Bridge.
The tournament run for Park Hill South’s doubles team ended Friday afternoon with a loss to Rock Bridge’s Eleanor Fay and Corinne Farid.
The Norris sisters won just five games total in the two losses. Wright and Dudley went on to win the state championship for Rock Bridge, which dominated Thursday on the way to the Class 2 team state title — the third straight for the Bruins.
Kresovic and the Norris sisters helped lead Park Hill South to the Class 2 District 15 championship, putting the Panthers in the playoffs for a 10th straight season. They advanced to quarterfinals for a second straight year before a 5-3 loss to Lee’s Summit West, which advanced to the state championship dual against Rock Bridge.
In addition to the team title, Kresovic won the District 15 singles title with a win against senior teammate Halle Nixon, and the Norris sisters were the doubles champion. Park Hill South went 2-1 in Sectional 8 matchups, sending two entries on to state.
Park Hill South finished the season 13-4 overall with only two losses with Kresovic in the lineup — both to Lee’s Summit West. The Panthers had seven seniors with Nixon (No. 5) and Suzanne Brown (No. 4) the only ones in the top six. Cydney Wuebben also played some doubles at the varsity level.