It was the match-up everyone was looking forward to at the Missouri high school girls state tennis tournament.
An undefeated player from Kansas City was playing an undefeated player from St. Louis for the Class 2 singles state championship.
And Kansas City prevailed this time as Eva Kresovic became the first player from Park Hill South to win a state title, and she did so in dominating fashion with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Alyson Piskulic of Mehlville on Saturday at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
“I am proud to represent my school and to become the first player from Park Hill South to win a state title,” said Kresovic, who finished third in singles last year as a freshman.
Kresovic was very familiar with her opponent in the finals.
“We are friends and play doubles together,” Kresovic said. “Sometimes it is hard to carry over a friendship to the tennis court, but there were no problems today. I think we are both fair players.”
Kresovic got off to a quick start Saturday by winning the first nine points of the match. Piskulic would even the first set 2-2, but it was all Kresovic the rest of the way as she won 10 of the final 11 games.
“It was a windy day, and it felt like we had a homecourt advantage today,” Park Hill South coach Ian Cunliff said. “Our school sits high on a bluff, so we felt at home. Eva did a great job of managing her shots, and she won the court position battle. She has put in the time and work since she was little. She is always focused to be the best.’
And on Saturday, Kresovic certainly proved that she was indeed the best in Missouri. She finished the season with a 25-0 record.
“It means a lot to me,” Kresovic said. “The goal from the beginning of the season was to win this tournament. I like winning, but I hate losing a lot more.”
Kresovic was the only KC-area player competing for a Missouri state title on Saturday.
Liberty’s Colby Kelley and Riley Kelley had the best finish in Class 2 doubles, finishing third. They defeated Maggie Moore and Emily Xu of Parkway South, 7-5, 6-4 in the third-place match.
It was not for a state title, but a pair of local players had one of the best matches of the day in the third-place match in Class 1 singles. Pembroke Hill freshman Randi Hendricks defeated Hannah Tadros of Barstow 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Pembroke Hill, which won the Class 1 team title on Thursday, had a pair of doubles teams which won medals. Lynne Li and Jaqueline Kincaid finished third, while Alisha Castaner and Jean Li were seventh.
John Burroughs, which lost to Pembroke Hill 5-4 in an instant-classic match on Thursday, finished the tournament with both the singles and doubles champions. Sophomore Sami Remis, who finished second last year, won in singles, while a pair of freshmen, Lily Walther and Ainsley Heidbreder won in doubles.