Shawnee Mission East boys tennis coach Sue Chipman does not shy away from blaming herself if something goes wrong.
That includes the Lancers’ unexpected loss two weeks ago at the Sunflower League tournament, which she attributed to her mishandling some team drama that led to two players quitting the team shortly after.
“I went with my heart instead of my head and we lost,” Chipman said. “Some years it is really easy and some years it is really not.”
However, the three-time defending state champion SM East Lancers wasted no time getting back on track and winning the Kansas Class 6A regional tournament on Monday at Lawrence Free State. The Lancers finished first in singles and doubles competition and were able to qualify all six members of their team.
Never miss a local story.
Jack Santilli, who won the singles title, dropped just two games the entire tournament and both came against teammate Billy Louiselle, who placed third. Jeff Larrabee and Elliott Renft won the doubles bracket, and Lane Anderson and Barrett Cooper placed fourth.
Other 913-area state tennis qualifiers from the regional were SM Northwest’s Tyler Garland, Reagan Walsh and Nathan Schmidt; SM South’s Nick Claerhout and SM West’s Kyle Sawatzky and Chris Holcomb.
At the Blue Valley North regional tournament, Brett White and Jonathan Lowe led Blue Valley Northwest to the team title with a victory in the No. 1 doubles competition. Lowe’s brother, James, placed second in singles behind Blue Valley’s Anil Patel. Yash Mylavarapu, Arvind Raghuraman and Caul Pearson also qualified for state from BV Northwest.
Blue Valley North, which finished second in the team standings, qualified three players: Rohit Bhagat, Carson Fournier and Brady Flanagan.
Olathe Northwest will send five players to state: Taylor Ficke, Thompson Tong, Cutter Sanderson, Andrew Buyle and David Boschma.
The final 913-area Class 6A state qualifier was Olathe South’s Conner Petty.
Class 5A regionals
Blue Valley West was nothing short of dominant in its run through the St. Thomas Aquinas regional tennis tournament.
The Jaguars took the top two spots in singles and doubles to qualify their entire team for the state tournament later this week in Goddard, Kan. Max Kurzban defeated Hayden Smith to win in singles and Hunter Sanders and Ryan Moody topped Bradley Mittleman and Hadley Cornish in the doubles final.
“It was like the best dream that could ever come true,” Blue Valley West coach Traci Rhodes said. “As a coach, you hope you can qualify all six and get a chance to get to go to state, but to have them all finish in the finals is more than I could have imagined.”
St. James Academy finished second and also qualified six players for state. The Thunder will be represented by Isaac Howes, Clay Feldman, Caleb Book, Ben Robke, Andrew Englander and Josh Spradlin.
Third-place Mill Valley qualified Jansen McCabe, Alec Bergeron and Andrew Bock. Fourth-place St. Thomas Aquinas will send Nathan Stukel. BV Southwest will send Jackson stevens and Rob Warner to state.
Class 4A regionals
De Soto qualified all six of its team members to the state tournament from the Spring Hill regional. Luke Zoller led the group with a third-place finish in singles. He will be joined at state by Alex Zoller, Jackson Allman, Colton Hess, Taylor Herron and Dustin Williams.
Bishop Miege qualified two singles players in Will Grier, who finished as runner-up at regionals, and John Schultz, who placed fourth.
Class 3-2-1A regionals
With the singles champion and top two finishers in doubles, Kansas City Christian was able to qualify its entire team from the Marysville regional to state.
Johnny Goodwin placed first in singles and Mitchell Paul was third. In doubles, Alex Karsonis and Jackson Vanderark defeated Turner Jones and William Vanderark to win the title.
Maranatha Christian’s Grant Swank finished sixth in singles to also qualify.