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Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Firebirds make statement

Free State cruises past loaded field that includes ranked Olathe NW, Seaman

April 2, 2008

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Free State High's boys tennis squad won't be under the radar much longer if it continues to put up performances like Tuesday's home quad against Olathe Northwest, Topeka Seaman and Shawnee Mission North.

The Firebirds swept every match against each opponent to win a total of 12 matches - six singles and six doubles matches.

"I felt like this was an important quad for us because all three of the teams we faced are competitive at the state level," Free State coach John Richey said. "I know that Topeka Seaman is ranked No. 4 in 5A and Olathe Northwest is No. 4 in 6A - and I noticed we were not ranked. So obviously it was a big win for us, especially to come out and win every match we played today. I felt that maybe it will send a bit of a statement around the area. : I don't think anybody really expects us to be as strong as we are this year."

Free State's No. 1 singles player, Michael Swank, swept his three opponents with ease - his "closest" match being an 8-3 victory over Seaman's Steven Fletcher.

"The 5A kid (Fletcher) that Michael beat today was second in the state last year," Richey said. "So we're getting good competition in these things and getting really good showings from him."

Swank surrendered just one game in his two other matches, an 8-1 victory over Olathe Northwest's Ross Carr.

Dravid Joseph, who played No. 2 singles, had some struggles in his match against Seaman's Tyler Nelson, but pulled through for an 8-7 victory.

The No. 1 doubles duo of Charlie Moffet and Blaine Kaehr looked to be in midseason form, with their closest match also being an 8-3 victory.

"We're doing pretty well so far this season. We're 10-0," Kaehr said. "Our chemistry is pretty well this year. Things seem to be coming together right now."

Adam Cassady and Kevin Frantz, the No. 2 doubles team, had to come from behind its final match to preserve the Free State sweep with an 8-5 victory against Topeka Seaman's Brett Yingling and Devin Wittmaier.

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