Platte County tops Grain Valley in dual on heels of 2 strong tournament showings

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Platte County capped a strong week with a nonconference 7-2 victory over Grain Valley, the first road win for the Pirates over the Eagles in program history.

“Although the team isn’t even halfway through the season, this was a big win for many reasons, and hopefully a good confidence booster for the Pirates moving forward,” Platte County coach Zach Keith said.

Platte County improved to 4-1 overall in duals, having won three straight since a loss to Liberty North in the opening week of the season.

Opening in doubles, Platte County took a key early match with seniors Bradley Beeson and Tony Railsback turning a tight 4-3 match into an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles. The Pirates then took a 2-1 lead into singles after freshman Gavin Nichols and senior Daunte Alaiwat earned an 8-6 victory at No. 1. Grain Valley had led the match 5-4 before faltering late.

Platte County then dominated singles action.

Alaiwat was a 10-2 winner at No. 3 singles, and Railsback took a 10-4 victory at No. 6. The Pirates also had much tighter wins from Nichols at No. 2 (10-6), senior Emilio Escamilla at No. 5 (10-7) and Beeson at No. 4 (10-8). Escamilla’s win at No. 5 sealed the team victory at 5-1, but the Pirates then added wins in two of the final three as well.

Platte County will now put its winning streak on the line Wednesday against visiting St. Joseph Central.

William Chrisman Invitational

Platte County opened the week on Monday by winning the William Chrisman Invitational in Independence.

The unique format divides six players into three flights where they play both singles and doubles matches to determine individual champions and score team points. Platte County ended up winning A Flight and C Flight, losing just one match combined. Grain Valley and William Chrisman — both teams in Class 2 District 8 with the Pirates — placed second and third, respectively.

Beeson and Railsback both went unbeaten in four singles matches each and swept four doubles matches in C Flight. Alaiwat went 4-0 in A Flight, while Nichols was 3-1, and the pair swept the four doubles matches, as well. Alaiwat and Nichols overcame a 5-1 deficit in the deciding doubles match to win 10-8.

Escamilla and junior Austin Vanek teamed up for Platte County in B Flight. Vanek went 3-1 in singles, while Escamilla was 2-2. They also posted a 2-2 doubles record to finish fourth in the flight.

Central Invitational

Platte County finished second as a team behind Class 3 Blue Springs South on Wednesday inside the indoor facility at Genesis Health Club in St. Joseph, Mo.

Alaiwat led the way with a first-place finish in B singles, while Nichols placed second in A singles, losing to Central sophomore River Flaska in the finals. Of the three doubles teams, senior Jackson Banks and junior Nathan Macaluso used the rare opportunity at varsity time to finish second. Both were making their varsity debut.

Beeson and Railsback won their opening match but ended up fourth in B singles, while Vanek and Escamilla also went 1-2 but placed sixth in A doubles.

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