Platte County senior Bri White prepares to hit a forehand during a match in a dual with Raymore-Peculiar on Tuesday at Platte County High School. TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra

Platte County debuts new faces on varsity, bolts to 3-0 start

With senior-heavy lineup, Pirates off to fast start while showing improvement from 2020 results with McBratney, Molinari leading the way.
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TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County senior Rayna Garcia watches a serve during a match in a dual against St. Joseph Central on Tuesday at Platte County High School.

Platte County not only went undefeated in a busy opening week of the season but started a trend of avenging team and individual losses from a year ago. The Pirates closed the week with a dominant 9-0 sweep of William Chrisman on Thursday in Independence.

The William Chrisman Tournament potentially offered another chance to show the improvement, but court conditions resulted in the Friday event being pushed back a week.

A year ago, a senior-laden William Chrisman team won the regular season matchup with Platte County and topped the Pirates in a dual for the first time in the all-time series between the two teams. The Pirates left no doubt this time with the closest match at No. 3 singles resulting in an 8-3 win for senior Sophie Curtis. Molly McBratney (No. 1) — a returning senior and singles qualifier for the Class 1 Missouri State Tennis Championships — and senior Rayna Garcia (No. 4) recorded 8-0 sweeps, while senior Maria Molinari (No. 2) and junior Ellie Fish (No. 6) took 8-1 decisions. Taylor Mayne, another senior, prevailed 8-2 at No. 5.

Platte County entered singles with a 3-0 lead after 8-0 shutouts for McBratney and Molinari at No. 1 and Garcia and junior Bri White at No. 3. Curtis and Mayne teamed at No. 2 and won 8-2. Fish and White made their varsity debuts in the Pirates’ first three duals while splitting back-of-the-lineup duties.

In addition to the William Chrisman Tournament this week, Platte County will have duals at Staley and at home vs. Liberty North back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday with more big challenges after a 3-0 start.

Platte County 5, Raymore-Peculiar 4

TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County senior Molly McBratney hits a backhand during a match in a dual with Raymore-Peculiar on Tuesday at Platte County High School.

The Pirates took four of six singles matches to close the dual Tuesday and steal a tight victory at Platte County High School.

Raymore-Peculiar took a 2-1 lead out of doubles with Curtis and Mayne taking a solid 8-3 victory at No. 2 for Platte County’s only win there. The Pirates’ task became even more difficult after a loss for McBratney at No. 1, but the rest of the lineup picked up the slack with Molinari starting the run with a dominant 4-0, 4-0 sweep at No. 2, but the Panthers were up 4-2 with only three matches left.

That’s when he comeback really started.

Mayne picked up a 4-1, 4-0 victory at No. 5 for Platte County, and Curtis evened the dual at 4-4- after a 4-1, 4-1 victory at No. 3. The No. 4 singles match ended up deciding the dual with Garcia mostly controlling in a 4-2, 4-1 win.

The two teams haven’t matched up often, but Platte County is 3-0 all time with three extremely tight wins.

Platte County 7, St. Joseph Central 2

TODD NUGENT/PC Preps Extra
Platte County senior Sophie Curtis prepares to hit a shot Tuesday during a match in a dual against Raymore-Peculiar at Platte County High School.

The Pirates opened the season by improving to 5-9 all-time against St. Joseph Central with a convincing win Monday at Platte County High School.

In the matchup, Platte County seniors Bri White and Ellie Fish made their varsity debuts, and White teamed with Garcia at No. 3 doubles to secure an 8-6 win. The Pirates swept the three doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead with McBratney and Molinari won 8-4 at No. 1, while Curtis and Mayne were 8-6 winners at No. 2. Curtis and Mayne trailed 4-1 before coming all the way back, while McBratney and Molinari avenged a lopsided loss to the Indians’ top duo a year ago.

Platte County secured the win behind a 4-2, 1-4, 10-8 marathon victory for Curtis at No. 3, reversing the result from a loss a year ago against Alisha Gupta, and Mayne prevailing in straight sets at No. 5. McBratney at No. 1 and Garcia at No. 4 were winners by identical 4-2, 4-2 scores. McBratney had also lost last season to Eugenia Rodriquez-Savage in the dual with Central but played well in avenging that loss.

In 2020, Platte County defeated Central on the road by a score of 5-4.

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