Netter second at Paola
Battered and bruised, De Soto's tennis team put enough hurt on its opponents to net a tie for second-place at last Thursday's Paola Round Robin Tennis Tournament.
The Wildcats suffered a trifecta of ankle and knee injuries but scored enough points from the doubles teams to tie Paola and Spring Hill with 12 team points.
Lansing won the tournament with 17 points, while Gardner-Edgerton finished fifth with four points.
An ankle injury to No. 1 singles player Josey Payne hobbled the senior enough to convince Wildcats coach Doug Opdycke to ice the injury and hold him out of his final match.
"He pushed off of his right foot and injured his ankle," Opdycke said. "After a brief break, he managed to finish the match, losing a close one 8-5."
Payne's injury occurred during his third match against Paola's Greg Reed. Just before the injury, Payne stole the momentum from Reed by winning the final two games and cut his deficit to 6-5. But with a noticeable limp, he was unable to win out.
Andy Edwards injured his right knee during his final No. 1 doubles match against Spring Hill's Chris Riggins and Brad Isnard. The sophomore, who rejoined last year's doubles partner Dan Hoschouer for the first time this season, twisted the knee after jumping up after a ball.
Nathan Cardiff bruised his knee during his second match at No. 2 singles, but he was able to finish the day.
"Hopefully none of the injuries will take anyone out of the lineup," Opdycke said.
Besides the loss to Reed, Payne also fell to Gardner-Edgerton's Robert Caswell (8-6) and Lansing's David Billard (8-1).
Cardiff fared slightly better than Payne by winning one of his four ished the tournament a collective 7-1 and netted first- and second-place honors, respectively.
Hoschouer and Edwards won the No. 1 doubles championship with a 4-0 record, including an impressive 8-3 win over Lansing's Chris Bristow and Chris Hancock. Opdycke believed the pair of Lions qualified for last year's 4A state tournament.
Besides the win over Riggins and Isnard, the pair of sophomores also defeated Gardner-Edgerton's Darren Lange and Tillman Stieger (8-3) and Paola's Connor Bybee and Bernard Kleihauer (8-6).
Smith and Delapena's only loss was to Lansing's Matt Warner and Shawn Jung (8-2). Their wins came against Gardner-Edgerton's Justin Wilkerson and Ben Highfill (8-1), Paola's Michael Tetwiler and Zach Tachini (9-8 (7-5)) and Spring Hill's Drew Poole and Logan Stites (9-7).
De Soto takes the court again at 3 p.m. Friday in a dual with Immaculatamatches. The win came against Gardner-Edgerton's Chase Campbell (8-6). Cardiff lost to Lansing's Josh Robinson (8-1), Paola's Elliott Freeman (8-4) and Spring Hill's Neal Nickel (8-2).
Hoschouer and Edwards and the No. 2 doubles team of Ben Smith and Spike Delapena fin