Free State boys tennis wins regional title for first time since 2011
photo by: Courtesy photo
Free State’s boys tennis team took home a regional title for the first time in a decade on Friday in the Class 6A regional meet at Gardner Edgerton.
The Firebirds had both doubles teams finish inside the top five and two singles players earn top-six finishes on the day. They scored 15 points as a team, which bested Olathe West’s mark of 10 points. It was enough for FSHS to win a regional crown in boys tennis for the first time since 2011.
Ben Melvin and George Thornton led the way for Free State by winning the doubles bracket. The duo earned wins over doubles teams from Lawrence High, Olathe North and Olathe West to advance to the championship match.
In the first-place match, Melvin and Thornton recorded a win (6-2, 6-1) over Lawrence High’s top doubles tandem of Drew Dean and Cuyler Dunn. That LHS pair was seeded No. 2 overall entering the bracket, and won all three of their matches to get to the finals.
Also competing in the doubles bracket, Free State’s No. 2 duo of Minh Vu and Jake Hedges earned a fifth-place finish. They won their fifth-place match against Olathe Northwest, dropping the first set (6-4) before bouncing back to earn consecutive 6-2 victories.
In singles, Free State had both of its competitors end up facing each other in the fifth-place match. Britton Snyder ultimately knocked off teammate Jared Loos (6-3, 6-1) for the higher finish, but both performed well enough to qualify for the Class 6A state tournament since the top-six finishers notched a state berth.
Lawrence finished in a tie for fifth place in the team standings. Only Dean and Dunn will compete in the final weekend following their runner-up finish in the doubles bracket.
The Class 6A state tournament will take place at Harmon Park Tennis Complex in Prairie Village on May 14 and May 15.
Local state qualifiers
Ben Melvin and George Thornton – 1st at regionals
Minh Vu & Jake Hedges — 5th at regionals
Britton Snyder — 5th at regionals
Jared Loos — 6th at regionals
Cuyler Dunn and Drew Dean — 2nd at regionals