Even though the last few matches at the Kansas Class 6A state tennis tournament were postponed with Friday’s second rain delay, all signs point to another title coming to Johnson County.
All four singles players and all four doubles teams competing in Saturday’s semifinals will be from the area when play resumes at 8:30 a.m. at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita.
Blue Valley Northwest leads the local contenders with a singles player and two doubles teams in the semifinals. James Lowe is set to face Shawnee Mission East’s Brooks Kendall while the doubles teams of Max Katcher and Brett White will face teammates Jonathan Lowe and Yash Mylavarapu for a spot in the finals.
“I’m really pleased by the level of play we’ve had,” Huskies coach Ted Fabiano said. “Nobody was really talking about who they were playing or who their opponents were, but it was really just about what we needed to do to play well. And I thought that focus really showed."
One of those opponents was Fabiano’s son Dominic who attends Olathe Northwest and lost to Lowe and Mylavarapu in the quarterfinals with partner Tripp Dearborn. It was the first time in four seasons that Fabiano had to coach against his son at state.
Depending on the outcome of the last quarterfinals match, two-time defending state champion SM East could also have three representatives in the semifinals. Kendall and Jack Santilli have already made it through on the singles side, and Jamie McDonald and Elliott Renft are battling Blue Valley North’s Alex and Mitchell Samuelson on the doubles side for the last semifinals bid.
“The two singles have done what we expected them to do,” Lancers coach Sue Chipman said. “I knew we would be pushing it with the doubles, but anything can happen. And this rain delay now could make a difference in the match that’s on at the moment, but we will see.”
If the Samuelsons pull it off though, they will face teammates Carson Fournier and Brady Flanagan for a shot at the finals.
Blue Valley’s Anil Patel has been battling an injury and recently defaulted in the third place match at the EKL Championships. But he holds a semifinals spot in singles.
Patel made a strong showing at regionals, finishing third behind SM East’s Kendall and Santilli. Patel knocked off Lawrence’s Thomas Irick on Friday. Irick had won the Olathe Northwest Regional.
“Anil played really well today, especially in the last match,” Tigers coach Nelson Elliott said. “Every point he was after it, both players did. It was a very high level of tennis.”
Patel, who was the lone qualifier from Blue Valley, will face Santilli in the semifinals.
Bishop Miege’s Luke Powell and John Schultz are still in the hunt for a fifth-place finish in doubles at Winfield High School. They will face Lucas Caywood and Hank Goertzen of Buhler in the next round. De Soto’s Luke Zoller is also still playing on the backside and will face Parson’s Paul Juesten or Fort Scott’s Gage Addington.
Kansas City Christian’s Johnny Goodwin continued his perfect run toward the Kansas Classes 3-2-1A state title with a second-round victory at Goddard High School. Goodwin will face Zack Brashear of Sterling in the quarterfinals.
Doubles partners Alex Kartsonis and Jackson Vander Ark also advanced for the Panthers and will face Jacob Koch and Brian Vancuren of Conway Springs in the quarterfinals.