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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
It was a tough day for the Spartan tennis team Wednesday according to Richmond Coach Julie Baker. It was also a busy day as the Spartans competed in not only the MRVC tournament at Odessa, but also followed that with a makeup MRVC East match with Lexington.
The Spartans lost the first match of their meeting with Lexington, but came back to win the remaining five to improve to 5-2 in league. Before taking on the Minutemen, the Spartans battled both East and West schools in the conference tournament.
“We had some very difficult draws in this tournament,” Baker said. “With the East being mixed in with the West, it’s difficult to get the seeds that you think you deserve because we haven’t all played each other.”
Richmond ended the tournament with 6 points and a tie with Lexington for fifth place in the nine-team field. Harrisonville had 2 points, while Carrollton and Odessa were shutout. Grain Valley picked up 54 points to hold a 23-point advantage over runner-up and East power Higginsville. Excelsior Springs finished third with 23, followed by Knob Noster with 13.
Jesse Bulk and Collin Williams both picked up fourth-place finishes for Richmond. Bulk, the No. 6 seed in No. 2 singles, knocked off third-seeded Collin O’Connel of Excelsior Springs 8-1 to open the tournament, but then lost the next two to No. 2 seed Brian Bueker of Higginsville (2-8) and third-seeded Cole Lankford of Knob Noster (7-9).
Williamson was seeded fourth in No. 5 singles and won his opener by an 8-4 final over Knob Noster’s Charles Gardner. Williamson then lost to eventual champion Chris Eubank of Grain Valley (2-8) and then fell in the third-place match to Kyle King of Excelsior Springs (6-8).