Two Heart of America tennis players, representing the greater Kansas City area, competed Sunday morning for the Boys’ and Girls’ age 16 singles crown, respectively, at the USTA Missouri Valley Sweet 16 at the Plaza Tennis Center.
Both suffered defeats.
Bradley Frye, a Barstow sophomore, lost in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0), to Carson Haskins of St. Louis. On the girls side, second-seeded Margo Gerke dropped her match to No. 4 Anna Riedmiller, 6-3, 6-2.
Haskins, the tournament’s second-seeded boy, is a familiar rival of Frye.
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“Usually when I play him our matches are pretty close. I think we both played well,” Frye said. “At crucial moments I think he played smarter than I did.”
After falling behind in the first set, Frye battled back to 5-4, but Haskins captured the next game to take the opening set.
The second set was back and forth between the two, culminating at 6-6 and needing a tiebreaker. Haskins dominated the tiebreaker 7-0 to take home the title.
Frye, an Overland Park resident, said when he loses, it’s usually because he beats himself, but admitted that wasn’t the case on Sunday.
“You have to give him credit,” Frye said. “Because you’re not doing anything wrong. Maybe you’re just on fire. There’s nothing you can do about that.”
Sunday’s stage provided a fun atmosphere, Frye said.
“This is the big sectional tournament, always good matches and everything,” Frye said. “I think to be in the finals and play in front of anyone, it’s fun to do that.”
In the girls’ match, Riedmiller, who is from Wichita, was too strong for Gerke.
“My opponent played a great match, so I was happy for her,” Gerke said. “I was happy just to get in and battle it out with her for a little bit.”
Gerke also kept it close but was never could pull ahead. At 4-3, Riedmiller took the subsequent two games to win the first set. In the second, Riedmiller pulled away to take the second set 6-2.
For Gerke, a junior-to-be at Notre Dame de Sion, it was an opportunity to represent her hometown in a regional tournament.
“It’s really fun to be able to play on the Plaza because it’s like my hometown and I just enjoyed the atmosphere,” Gerke said.