The Spartan tennis team drew a tough opening assignment Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans traveled to Excelsior Springs to take on a Tiger squad that returned almost every member of last year’s district runner-up team. The Tigers were too strong for Richmond and handed the visitors a 9-0 loss to begin the new season.
Spartan Coach Ken Simmons said the Tigers’ experience came through.
“Excelsior has a very good team with five seniors and one of the top players in the state,” he said. “It was a tough match to start the season, but we played well at times. They should be one of the top teams in the state again this year.”
Excelsior Springs began with Eric Daily, one half of the doubles team that placed sixth in the Class 1 state tournament last year, defeating Richmond’s Phillip Corwin 8-1 in the No. 1 singles match. The Tigers then took the next two singles matches by 8-0 scores. Cody Gaul defeated Kayleb Dunwoodie at No. 2, and Richard Daily was a winner over Landon Green at No. 3.
Richmond’s Gus Hockemeier battled Jon Greene at No. 4 before dropping a 3-8 decision, Nick Harmon fell to Josh Mohn at No. 5, 1-8, and Donnie Pangborn played well at No. 6 singles for the Spartans before losing to Marco Pavada, 4-8, to wrap up singles play.
The Tiger duo of Daily/Daily defeated Corwin/Dunwoodie 8-3 to start the doubles matches. Paul Cohoun/Gaul took an 8-1 match over Green/Pangborn, and Greene/Mohn completed the sweep with an 8-5 decision over Hockemeier/Harmon.
There were 13 junior varsity matches played with Excelsior Springs winning a dozen of them. Josh O’Dell captured the lone Richmond victory of the afternoon when he defeated Jeremy Frost 6-4. Two other Spartans came up short in their singles matches with Eddie Cox falling to Jake Jefferies, 6-7, and Chris Mallott dropping a 4-6 decision to Zach Jordan.
In other singles results: Dillon Williamson lost to Kevin Smith 0-6; Kyle Cox lost to Conner Williams 3-6; Dylan Berry lost to Patrick Mordue 2-6; and Ryan Bloom lost to Logan McGregor by the same 2-6 count.
The three Richmond doubles teams pushed their opponents to the limit before coming up short. O’Dell/Williamson went into a tiebreaker before dropping a 6-7 decision after losing the tiebreaker 4-7. The Spartan duos of Barry/Cox and Cameron Parker/David Danner both dropped their matches by identical 5-7 scores.