The Missouri Class 1-2 state tennis tournaments will take place this week at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield. The team semifinals and finals will be played Thursday, with the individual competitions scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Here are three things to watch during the the three days:
1. Barstow vies for Class 1 title
For the first time since 1982, the Barstow Knights have reached the Missouri Class 1 state semifinals. On Thursday, they will face Mary Institute of Country Day School at 9 a.m. John Burroughs and Greenwood will meet in the other Class 1 semifinal matchup.
The Knights take a 14-2 record into the Final Four, thank in large part to the strength at the top of their lineup.
No. 1 singles player Fletcher Scott is 26-2 this season. One of his two losses came against his teammate, Bradley Frye, who is 20-2 this season while occupying the No. 2 spot in the Knights’ lineup. Both players are contenders for the individual singles title.
On the doubles side, seniors Steven Ketchmark and Ben Abbas have qualified for the doubles bracket one year after taking third place.
2. Rockhurst looks for three-peat
After a three-year hiatus, Rockhurst returned to its familiar place atop the Missouri Class 2 podium two years ago.
It hasn’t left that spot since.
The Hawklets are searching for their third straight state title and the 18th in program history. They will face Parkway West, 19-1, at 9 a.m. Thursday. Rock Bridge and Ladue Horton Watkins will meet in the other semifinal.
To no surprise, the one-loss Hawklets will be well-represented in the individual competitions, as well. They qualified their entire lineup for the singles and doubles brackets.
That group is led by seniors Jack Evans and Joseph O’Connor, who are looking to defend their Class 2 doubles state title. They breezed through the sectional bracket with a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the semifinals.
The tandem of Michael Michaelis and Justin Nogalski will also compete in the doubles bracket. Joe Ibarra and Collin Klumb qualified in the singles bracket for the Hawklets.
3. More qualifiers
In addition to the Rockhurst six-man lineup, the Missouri Class 2 brackets will feature six more players from the Kansas City metro.
Liberty North senior Robert Trout and William Chrisman senior Nic Hurt will compete in the Class 2 singles bracket.
Liberty’s duo of Griffin Turnage and T.J. Stansbury will play in the Class 2 doubles bracket. After winning the district championship, they earned a three-set victory at the sectional tournament to qualify. Park Hill South’s Josh Robaska and J.D. Nassab also reached the state doubles tournament.
In Class 1, Pembroke Hill’s team of Sam Kramer and Cormac Chester claimed a state-qualification doubles spot.