De Soto treasures win over Mill Valley, ready for more
The wounds ripped open when De Soto and Mill Valley high schools split five years ago may have in some ways began to close.
Not on the tennis court, however.
The De Soto girls tennis team swept Mill Valley for the fifth time to remain undefeated against the bitter rivals from the east.
Five years later, there's nothing sweeter De Soto coach Michael Sullivan said.
"We wanted to win. We're undefeated against them all time, proud of that streak and we had to keep that intact," Sullivan said.
De Soto rounded the streak out to five in style, sweeping the Jaguars right off the Wildcats home court.
"I was just really proud that they all played to their ability," Sullivan said. "Usually when you get in a tournament, you lose one or two sometimes. Someone has a bad match or there's a loss that's not bad."
Tuesday, they kept the pressure on. De Soto won its second event of the season. De Soto finished 10-2 in the Spring Hill Quadrangular featuring Spring Hill, Gardner and Mill Valley.
Lauren Hampton, playing No. 1 singles, finished 2-1, losing only to Gardner newcomer Ana Juarez, who is ranked in her native Mexico.
"That's not a bad loss for Lauren," Sullivan said. "She was very good. I've never seen someone work Lauren so hard right to left."
Despite the confidence garnered from back-to-back victories, De Soto faces a dark road ahead. They face Olathe Northwest Thursday in De Soto. Its duel the Wildcats won last year, but one that promises to grow more difficult.
"It's nice to show that as a little school, we can compete with aa big school," Sullivan said. "We beat them 10-2, but they didn't have any seniors, so they're going to be a lot better."
The toughest test comes on Saturday though when the team travels to Marysville without Hampton who will play in a volleyball tournament.
Sixteen teams await the Wildcats including powerhouses from Marysville and Manhattan.
Hampton's absence bumps junior Alex Prosser to the top spot. Sullivan labeled Hampton and Prosser and "co-No. 1s", and Prosser is excited to get the opportunity to make her mark in the top bracket.
"It'll be exciting," she said. "It's a good opportunity. We'll miss Lauren, but I want to do my best and see how well I can do playing No. 1s."