St. James tennis rolls to Wildcat Invitational tourney title
St. James Academy girls tennis coach Rebecca Snodgrass couldn’t have asked for much more from her Thunder Saturday at the De Soto Wildcat Invitational.
St. James had the top two doubles teams and two of the top three singles players en route to a lopsided victory at the eight-team tournament.
The Thunder ran away with the title by piling up 56 points, well ahead of runner-up Kansas City Christian’s 35 and third-place De Soto’s 18.
St. James thoroughly dominated the doubles bracket as both of its squads sailed through the competition and into the finals.
Molly Gillchrist and Alex Mancuso knocked off fellow St. James teammates Emily Kippes and Julianne Smith 8-4 to claim the doubles championship.
“Both of our doubles teams are performing really well right now, which is what we want as we get ready for regional competition,” Snodgrass said. “I did expect them to play well Saturday, and they both did.”
In singles, Class 4A defending state champion Bree Honer cruised through the bracket into the finals before running into a stiff challenge from KC Christian’s Sarah Goodwin. Goodwin outdueled Honer 8-1.
“Both players played well, just a few missed points here and there made the difference,” Snodgrass said.
Grace Schaffer also had a stellar day for St. James in singles as she finished third. Schaffer closed out the tournament with an 8-3 victory against Paige Williams of De Soto.
Snodgrass credited the competitiveness among her players in practice with helping them improve throughout the season.
“I tell them that competition brings out excellence, and we have that opportunity every single day in practice in both singles and in our doubles,” Snodgrass said of the way her players push each other. “So our daily practices are very beneficial to all our girls and are contributing to our team’s success.”
St. James was back in action Tuesday at Blue Valley Southwest. Results were unavailable at press time. The Thunder next play at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Blue Valley.