Newton’s Josh Carlgren and Riley Kingsley have a familiarity with each other that is perfect for a tennis doubles team. During their championship match in the Collegiate Tournament of Champions on Saturday, the two used a synchronized high-five fist bump between points.
After the match, an 8-7 victory over Collegiate’s Max Moxley and Travis Osland, Kingsley said he felt good about his serves, and Carlgren told him he was proud of him, especially since Carlgren felt his serves were off.
“I know if I’m not doing well he’s got my back, and sometimes the other way,” Carlgren said.
The two teams were within one game of each other for the entire match, and although Newton held a 7-6 lead at the final break of the match, Collegiate won the next game in four serves to send the match into a tiebreaker.
“I’d say this is one of the best matches we’ve played, against a team that’s really, really good,” Carlgren said. “Our next few meets are league, regionals and state, and that’s a quality team so it feels good to get a win against them.”
Despite no champions Saturday, Collegiate won the tournament with 106 points, only one point ahead of Topeka Hayden.
Hayden’s Blake Hunter remembered the championship match at Collegiate last year.
Blake was a junior, and he faced his younger brother Tommy, who was a freshman. Blake had already defeated Tommy once that season, but in this particular match, Tommy dominated, winning the first six games and taking the match 8-2.
Apart from Blake and Tommy playing in the championship match again on Saturday at Collegiate, nothing was the same.
Blake took the first five games, and didn’t let Tommy win more than one game consecutively. Blake’s strength had improved as well as the placement of his shots, but his focus is what ultimately drove him to the 8-3 win.
“When I’m focused I play a little better, but I tend to not be focused when I play and a little nervous, which can be a different story,” Blake said. “This match especially was all about wind, and I tried to use my slice as much as possible to keep the ball low.”
It was Tommy who had defeated Blake earlier this year, and held the higher seed in the tournament.
“We both have gotten better. He had more focus than me in this match, and he wanted it more,” Tommy said.
Team scores – Collegiate 106, Topeka Hayden 105, Hesston 98, Newton 90, Independence 82, McPherson 81, Kapaun 79, Ark City 62, Derby 55, Parsons 52, Maize 49, Trinity Academy 46, Hutch Trinity 45, Conway Springs 43, West 39, Carroll 38, Salina Sacred Heart 36.
Singles – 1. B. Hunter, Topeka Hayden, def. T. Hunter, Topeka Hayden, 8-3; 3. Brown, Sacred Heart, def. Ewy, Collegiate, 8-2; 5. Hollis, Ark City, def. Piani, Kapaun, 8-7 (3).
Doubles – 1. Kingsley-Carlgren, Newton, def. Osland-Moxley, Collegiate, 8-7 (2); 3. Martin-Penner, Hesston, def. Horton-Horton, McPherson, 8-2; 5. Brites-Palmer, Derby, def. Hardy-Schucke, Independence, 8-4.