Boys tennis return pair of standout singles players
Coming off the top finish in the history of the program, the De Soto boys tennis team knows it has a tough task to match its success of a year ago.
Coach Michael Sullivan, however, sees his team - at least on paper - as one of the top five favorites to win it all this year.
"We do have such strong singles competitors coming back," Sullivan said. "Matt and Andrew are probably considered two of the top-four, definitely top-five returners in 4A. They both can compete for higher positions that they did last year."
A year ago, current junior Matt Edwards and sophomore Andrew Konetzni were the two singles players for De Soto. They flanked a doubles team of since-graduated Dan Hoschouer and Andy Edwards that took fourth at state.
Konetzni and Matt Edwards finished seventh and eighth in the state, respectively, so it seems that this year at least the varsity singles positions are locked down by the teams best and most experienced players.
"They are both so good that it's a shame that one has to play one and one has to play two, so what we did is we rotated them," Sullivan said. "As far as I'm concerned they are co-1's."
Since you can only play singles or doubles, Sullivan is not really sure who will play varsity doubles.
Out of the young kids who may fill the spot, freshman Trevor Elmer played varsity as a fill-in toward the end of the season and is one possibility.
As for who could step in and fill the other spot, that will have to be determined between now and the first tournament.
The Wildcat tennis team opens its season with the Washburn Rural Invitational that starts at 8 a.m. March 25 in Topeka. Sullivan said it's a tournament that he likes going to early because there are such a wide variety of teams that are there and there will be some top players competing.
A year ago at the same tournament, Konetzni and Matt Edwards finished third and fourth in singles, and the player who won it ended up in the top-3 in 5A.
"That just goes to show you how competitive they were," Sullivan said. "We'll get that one tournament in and then we'll have some time to massage the squad and work on it."