It’s understandable if Greenwood sophomore Will Sistrunk has a few nerves when the boys’ tennis state championships resume today at Cooper Tennis Complex.
After winning two matches in the Class 1 singles bracket on Friday, Sistrunk is poised to take his game beyond where he thought possible when he faces junior Michael Rechan (19-0) of Clayton at 9 a.m.
“It’s definitely nerve-wracking, but you’ve got to love the pressure; it makes you play better,” Sistrunk said. “One of my goals as a sophomore was to get to the semifinals this year.
“I think now, if I could make the finals, that would be the next really big goal for me.”
Sistrunk (17-2) took third place in Class 1 doubles as a freshman last year, so he’s no stranger to the pressure of the final day at state.
“There’s some pressure on me, but I think I have a chance if I just go out there and play well,” Sistrunk said. “Once you get the point going, its just tunnel vision and you see just the court and the ball coming back at you.”
Sistrunk beat Jared Davis of Mount Vernon (6-0, 6-0) in the first round and beat Austin Motley of Kirksville (6-1, 6-2) in the quarterfinals.
In the Class 2 singles bracket, Glendale sophomore Micah Klousia (26-5) cruised through two wins on Friday to advance into today’s semifinals against the very opponent who ended his season a year ago.
Klousia, who lost in the Class 2 quarterfinals last season, will face Dylan Steffens (23-1) from Rockwood Summit in the semifinals today at 9 a.m.
“He’s the one who beat me last year, so I’ve got to try to get some revenge,” Klousia said. “It’s a grind, so I’ve got to keep playing the same way I’ve been playing and fight my way through.”
Klousia beat Tanner Ferrell of Lee’s Summit West (6-0, 6-0) in the first round and Jack Evans of Rockhurst (6-0, 6-0) in the quarterfinals.
“I was really happy with how I’m playing and with what I did today,” Klousia said. “My forehand was my strength today for sure. I was running around it and hitting it from all different places on the court.”
Catholic sophomore Clint Jung (19-5) made the quarterfinals with a first-round victory over Sam Ward of Dexter, 6-1, 6-0, but lost a grueling three-set quarterfinal match to Josh Hurt of Fulton, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
“When I tried to come back, I attacked more and made him run a little bit and that gave me an opportunity to win some games easily and break some serves,” Jung said. “But in the third set he just overpowered me.”
At the top of the draw in the Class 2 doubles bracket, the Central duo of Ryan Bunselmeyer and Devin Cavero had their state title dreams dashed with a loss in the quarterfinals. Bunselmeyer and Cavero beat Derek Dallas and Chris Pulcine of Francis Howell, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, in round one, but lost to John Nogalski and Jacob Moore of Rockhurst, 6-2, 6-0, who are still undefeated this year (17-0).
“If there was anybody in the draw that we would lose to, it would be them,” Bunselmeyer said. “I thought we were going to put up more of a fight than that, but those Rockhurst players are definitely a good team and they overpowered us.”