Despite weather tennis takes 1st at Paola tourney
Chilly temperatures and swirling winds couldn’t keep the De Soto tennis team from breezing past its competition Thursday, as it took first-place at the Paola Tournament.
The event, which consisted of six area high schools, provided little competition for the Wildcats. De Soto head coach Michael Sullivan said he was pleased the team was able to get the result despite not playing its best tennis.
“We weren’t as good as we could have been,” he said. “But that was probably because of the conditions. It wasn’t a lot of fun, but we played pretty well and the guys took care of what they needed to take care of.”
To say the conditions were not conducive for attractive tennis would be quite the understatement. Sullivan said his teams haven’t faced weather resembling Thursday’s in his career at De Soto.
“The biggest thing about this tournament was the conditions,” he said. “It was definitely the worst conditions I have ever had for tennis. I’ve had cold and I’ve had windy. But I’ve never had that bad of a combination of the two.”
Two boys whose racquets appeared unfazed by the gusts were Wildcats’ No. 1 and No.2, Andrew Konetzni and Matt Edwards. While Konetzni played in the top spot last week, Sullivan said the two talents are virtually interchangeable.
“With Matt playing No. 2 this week, he didn’t lose a single match,” Sullivan said. “His matches weren’t even close. That’s the problem with having two No. 1’s. Whoever plays at the two spot really doesn’t get enough competition.”
The doubles teams also made Sullivan proud by tallying second and third-place finishes. The No. 1 doubles team, Trevor Elmer and Brendon Hudson, won its first match but lost its second.
“I think those guys were affected by the conditions,” Sullivan said. “But I think there’s a good chance Trevor and Brendon will see that Gardner-Edgerton team again this week at Bonner Springs. I know they will be ready to get another good crack at those guys.”
The Wildcats traveled Tuesday to Bonner Springs for an eight-team tournament that they already had a good deal of familiarity with.
“I think we’ve won the tournament the last three years,” Sullivan said. “So we’ll definitely be looking to defend it.”
Singles play began on Tuesday and Edwards, who played at No.1 won the gold medal by going 4-0. Sullivan elected to rest Konetzni on Tuesday, and freshman Greg Baird played in the No. 2 spot for De Soto. Baird won his first three matches before losing in the finals to finish in second-place in his bracket.
The tournament resumes Thursday with doubles play. De Soto will then play in the Baldwin Tournament Saturday and at Mill Valley on Monday.
— Jeff Deters contributed to this report.