It was an historic day at the Missouri Girls High School Tennis Tournament for area schools as Kansas City area teams swept the team titles at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield on Thursday.
By BILL HESTER
Special to The Star
Lee’s Summit North won the Class 2 title, and Barstow was the champion of Class 1. It was the first-ever state tennis championship for each school
The LS North Broncos won the their crown with a nail-biting 5-3 triumph over perennial power Columbia Rock Bridge.
“It was an incredible performance,” Broncos coach Stu Reece said. “Before the season started we set a motto of one team, one dream. And we carried that out with how we practiced and how we played. It was a belief that we could get it done together. Every girl fought and contributed to this special state championship.”
Five of the six singles matches went to three sets with LS North winning three of those. The Broncos’ Logan Morrissey had the signature win as she battled back from a deep 1-5 third-set deficit at No. 1 singles and defeated Phoebe Boeschen, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6.
Jennifer Krause and Beta Lear won in three sets at No. 4 and 6 singles respectively, while Camryn Parnell won in straight sets at No. 2 singles.
The Broncos had a 4-2 advantage in the team match going into doubles play but the Bruins are traditionally strong in doubles and won at No. 3 doubles. But Morrissey and Parnell got the fifth and decisive win at No. 1 doubles, beating Rock Bridge’s Boeschen and Sophi Farid 6-4, 6-5.
“We had the motto of one team, one dream, and I feel like I’m dreaming right now,” said Morrissey. “It really is a dream come true. This means so much, and I am so proud of every girl on this team.”
Lee’s Summit North, which finished third at state last year, defeated Jefferson City 5-2 in the semifinals, while Rock Bridge edged St. Joseph’s Academy 5-4.
Alena Frye capped off a career triple crown as she helped Barstow win the Class 1 championship. The Lady Knights defeated Logan-Rogersville 5-0 in the semifinals and then beat Clayton 5-3 in the championship.
Frye added the team title to her individual singles championship from last year. She also won a doubles championship two years ago.
“This was extra special because I get to share it with my teammates and because I am a senior,” said Frye. “This feeling is really hard to describe. It is amazing to win at the end.”
Frye won her No. 1 singles match against Clayton’s Connor Cassity 6-2, 6-1. The Lady Knights also had singles wins from Maddy Tadros at No. 2, Kathryn Lundgren at No. 3 and Emma Shapiro at No. 5.
Lundgren and Emily Reed capped off the championship with a victory in No. 2 doubles.
“This has been such a difficult path,” said Tadros, who is a senior. “We were an underdog as sophomores and were just happy to be here. Each year we raised our expectations and finally got it done today.”
The Lady Knights finished third two years ago and second last year.
“It had been 31 years without a trip to state before we made it a couple of years ago,” Barstow coach Jim O'Brien said. “It is an overwhelming feeling to win it all this year. The key was coming out of singles with the lead. We needed every point and got contributions from everyone.”