Platte County tennis' rally comes up just short in bid for conference title

Platte County went into Tuesday night needing some help to win a conference title.

For the second time this season, Winnetonka edged out the Pirates in a Suburban Conference Blue Division matchup to take control of the race. The Griffins’ 5-4 victory on Thursday, April 28 at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City, Mo. provided them with an edge but hope remained.

A Kearney win against Winnetonka on Tuesday, May 3 would give Platte County a share of the league title, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Platte County again lost all three doubles matches against Winnetonka but created some drama in singles. Spencer Kunz led off with a win at No. 1, and Andy Day (No. 4), Spencer Klopfer (No. 5) and Noah Singer (No. 6) helped close the gap on the Griffins from a 6-3 loss earlier in the season.

Platte County senior Zack Regan trailed 9-5 in his No. 2 singles match with the team score tied at 4-4. He won five straight to take a 10-9 lead but eventually lost the tiebreaker 7-5.

The Suburban North Invitational, scheduled for Saturday, April 30 was postponed to this Saturday due to inclement weather. Park Hill and Platte County were both scheduled to compete but will instead have their final tournament right before district play starts next week.

Platte County 5, Kearney 4

The Pirates edged one of their biggest rivals for the second time this season to set up the showdown with Winnetonka.

In a match played Tuesday, April 26 at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo., “the hosts” jumped to a 2-1 lead after doubles behind wins for Josh Timmons and Spencer Klopfer (No. 2) and Andy Day and Noah Singer (No. 3). That lead held up thanks to a split of six singles matches, including Platte County wins from Timmons (No. 3), Klopfer (No. 5) and Singer (No. 6).

Park Hill 8, St. Joseph Central 1

The Trojans came up just short of a sweep in their third Suburban Conference Red Division win of the season Thursday, April 28 at Barry Park in Kansas City, Mo.

Henry Eckold lost 11-9 to Van Hopkins at No. 1 before Park Hill dominated the final five singles matches. Grant Martin, Joel Lesher and Matt Zhang all recorded shutouts. Eckold and No. 2 singles player Jake McFee continued their strong partnership with an 8-2 victory in No. 1 doubles over Hopkins and Josh Fangman.

Park Hill needed wins against Park Hill South (Tuesday, May 3; result not available at deadline) and at Liberty (Thursday, May 5) to go undefeated in league play. The Trojans are 14-1 overall on the season.

Park Hill South entered Tuesday’s dual at 8-5 overall and 2-1 in Red Division play. The Panthers beat St. Joseph Central last week but lost to Liberty for their first conference loss.

Park Hill 9, Ruskin 0

During a busy week, Trojans coach Rustin Reys used an opportunity to expand playing time for some of his roster.

Chandler To and Joel Lesher played at No. 1 and No. 2, while Lucas Cuni-Mertz, Gabe Rau, James Bibens and Wesley Tran moved up to varsity to fill out the lineup. Ruskin only won 11 games total in the six singles matches. Ryan Decker and Carl Laude also played varsity at No. 3 doubles, winning 8-5 for Park Hill.