by Michael Smith
The tough schedule for the Grain Valley boys tennis team was by design.
The Eagles’ first three games were against teams in the Suburban Gold Conference, which has the biggest schools in the Suburban Conference as a whole. Grain Valley won all of those games and that helped prepare them for their Suburban White Conference opener against Truman.
Out of the three Eagles doubles teams and six singles matches, none dropped more than two sets as the team cruised to a 9-0 win Tuesday at Santa Fe Trail Park in Independence.
“Our non-conference schedule is purposely difficult,” Grain Valley head coach Randy Draper said. “We won a couple of those 5-4. Playing a schedule like this will hopefully help us win the conference and help us win at district.”
Even after the Truman game, the tough schedule isn’t finished for the Eagles. Outside of tournaments, they play all three teams in the Lee’s Summit School District, which have historically had strong teams each year.
So far, Grain Valley is 5-0 in duals and it’s giving the players confidence for the rest of the season.
“This team is very good and will have a good shot to win districts and go to state,” Grain Valley senior Carter Compton said. “We want to beat Platte County so we can get home court advantage (for districts).”
Carter and his brother Kade led the team in Tuesday’s blowout win. The duo won their No. 1 doubles match 8-2 and each brother was victorious in their individual singles matches 8-2.
“In doubles, we used our strengths and attacked the net,” Kade Compton said. “We also target the weaker player to get an easier win. In my singles match, I just stayed consistent and hit his serves back and made sure to stay in the rally.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Ethan Miller and Isaac Burd won 8-2. Burd cruised in his No. 6 singles contest 8-0 and Miller remained undefeated after an 8-2 victory. Ben Drinkwater and Micah Siems took the No. 3 doubles match 8-1. Drinkwater rolled to an 8-0 win his No. 4 singles contest and Siems dominated in a 8-1 victory.
“Ethan and Ben were at the back part of our JV last year and now they are No. 3 and No. 4 in varsity,” Draper said. “Miller is good. He’s really good. It’s such a big key for us because we have to win matches at so many different places. Ethan is an upper lineup player playing No. 3. His improvement has been huge for our team.”
Added Carter: “The reason we are winning all these duals is because of the bottom of our lineup.”
Carter Compton, left, and Kade Compton won their doubles match 8-2 and won their individual singles matches by the same score during Grain Valley's 9-0 win over Truman. Photo credit: Michael Smith