Doubles teams lead city tennis squads at Sunflower League meet

Kanak Masten (left) Cooper Wright (right) communicate during a match at the Sunflower League Tournament on April 24, 2019, at the College Boulevard Tennis Complex.

OLATHE – After a city series defeat, Kanak Masten and Cooper Wright of Lawrence High found themselves in a rematch with Free State’s No. 1 doubles pair of Davis Steadman and Trey Melvin.

Masten and Wright advanced to the semifinals with an 8-6 win, but fell in their next two matches to both of Shawnee Mission East’s teams at the Sunflower League Tournament Wednesday at the College Boulevard Tennis Complex. The Lancers took the Sunflower League crown with 96 points.

“Even though we lost the last one, we know both of them really well,” Wright said. “We were confident. We knew that we had a great shot to win if we just played our game, and that’s what happened.”

The Lions duo would end up taking fourth with their two wins, and Lawrence as a team would score 56 points in its seventh-place finish at the league meet. Free State scored 61 points with a pair of top-5 finishes to take fourth as a team.

Senior Ryan Logan and freshman Cuyler Dunn also placed inside the top 10 in doubles with three wins on the day to place ninth.

In singles, Drew Dean went 2-3 on the day with a first round win, later advancing to the 11th place match. Dean fell 8-2 to Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Jovan Ozegovic to finish in 12th. Kirk Johnson kept his matches close, winning six games in his final two losses.

“We were just a lot more consistent today,” Wright said of his pair. “We had a plan, we executed. We hit our shots, we made the other team beat us instead of beating ourselves.”

Senior Sawyer Nickel led the Firebirds with a fourth-place finish.

Nickel began the day with a second round win over Dean of LHS, then defeated Shawnee Mission East’s No. 2 singles player Blake Eason to advance to the semifinals. Nickel fell to Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Nam Pham – the eventual singles champion – in straight sets, then he fell to Shawnee Mission East’s Jake Louiselle 8-2 in the third place match.

Steadman and Trey Melvin picked up two more wins after their defeat by Wright and Masten, placing fifth with an 8-5 win over an Olathe South pair.

“My serves were on, and Trey’s always are really good,” Steadman said. “It’s kind of just a combination of the two that helped us get through some tougher matches.”

The Firebirds second doubles pair of Henry Six and Ben Melvin rallied back from a first round loss to Dunn and Logan to win their next three matches and placed ninth.

Between the Firebirds’ eight doubles matches, their two teams only dropped two on Wednesday collectively.

“This year our bottom half is a little bit weaker than usual, but they come ready to play,” Steadman said.

Free State will compete in a quadrangular against Maranatha, Shawnee Mission East and Shawnee Mission North at Harmon Park Thursday. Lawrence will travel to Harmon Park as well for its next match on May 2 for Regionals.


Wednesday at the College Boulevard Tennis Complex

Team Scores: 1. SM East, 96; 2. Olathe West, 74; 3. SM Northwest, 64; 4. Free State, 61; 5. Olathe Northwest, 60; 6. Olathe South, 58; 7. Lawrence, 57; T-8. SM South, 46; T-8. SM West, 46; 10. Olathe North, 47; 11. Olathe East, 44; 12. Gardner-Edgerton, 31; 13. SM North, 18.

Free State results

No. 1 Singles – Sawyer Nickel, 2-2, 4th place. Round 1: Nickel received a bye; Round 2: Nickel def. Drew Dean, LHS, 8-0; Quarterfinal: Nickel def. Blake Eason, SME, 8-4; Semifinal: Nam Pham, SMNW, def. Nickel 8-0; 3rd place match: Jake Louiselle, SME, def. Nickel 8-2.

No. 2 Singles – Minh Vu, 3-2, 21st place. Round 1: Peyton Peck, SMS, def. Vu 8-0; Conso. Round 1: Vu def. Kirk Johnson, LHS, 8-6; Conso. Quarterfinal: Aidan Sturdivan, OW, def. Vu 8-0; Conso. Semifinal: Vu def. Garrett Dobbelaere, SMS, 8-4; 21st place match: Vu def. Patrick Beane, GE, 8-5.

No. 1 Doubles – Trey Melvin/Davis Steadman, 3-1, 5th place. Round 1: Melvin/Steadman received a bye. Round 2: Melvin/Steadman def. Williams/Clark, GE, 8-3; Quarterfinal: Wright/Masten, LHS, def. Melvin/Steadman 8-6; Conso. Semifinal: Melvin/Steadman def. Gati/Rope, SMS, 8-0; 5th place match: Melvin/Steadman def. Fosha/Murphy, OS, 8-5.

No. 2 Doubles – Ben Melvin/Henry Six, 3-1, 17th place. Round 1: Logan/Dunn, LHS, def. Melvin/Six 8-1; Conso. Round 2, Melvin/Six received a bye; Conso. Quarterfinal: Melvin/Six def. Belanger/Zeller, SMS, 8-6; Conso. Semifinal: Melvin/Six def. Darpel/Stearns, SMNW, 8-6; 17th place match: Melvin/Six def. Raglend/Lindsay, ONW, 8-4.

Lawrence results

No. 1 Singles – Drew Dean, 2-3, 12th place. First round: Dean def. Garrett Dobbelare, SMS, 8-3; Round 2: Sawyer Nickel, FS, def. Dean, 8-0; Conso. Quarterfinal: Dean def. Joseph Burnham, ONW, 8-5; Conso. Semifinal: Peyton Peck, SMS, def. Dean 8-3; 11th place match: Jovan Ozegovic, SMNW, def. Dean 8-2.

No. 2 Singles – Kirk Johnson, 0-3, 26th place. Round 1: Abhirup Mukerjee, SMW, def. Johnson, 8-0; Conso. Round 2: Minh Vu, FS, def. Johnson 8-6; 25th place match: Ezra Hernandez, SMN, def. Johnson 8-6.

No. 1 Doubles – Copper Wright/Kanak Masten, 2-2, 4th place. Round 1: Wright/Masten received a bye; Round 2: Wright/Masten def. Johnson/Madden, SMN, 8-2; Quarterfinal: Wright/Masten def. Melvin/Steadman, FS, 8-6; Semifinal: Tiltan/Leatherwood, SME, def. Wright/Masten 8-3; 3rd place match: Freund/Mosher, SME, def. Wright/Masten 8-4.

No. 2 Doubles – Ryan Logan/Cuyler Dunn, 3-1, 9th place. Round 1: Logan/Dunn def. Melvin/Six, FS, 8-1; Round 2: Lichstinn/Dryer, OW, def. Logan/Dunn, 8-2; Conso. Quarterfinal: Logan/Dunn def. Atzenweiler/Davidson, OW, 8-2; Conso. Semifinal: Logan/Dunn def. Tomasic/Reese, SMNW, 8-4; 9th place match: Logan/Dunn def. Williams/Clark, GE, 8-4.


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