Redfield's Replays: May 22
FRESHMAN CAPTURES SINGLES TITLE
It took quite a while, but Blue Valley West freshman Max Kurzban captured the East Kansas League singles title earlier this month.
He became the first freshman to win the league singles title since BV North’s Jack Sock accomplished the feat in 2008. Sock is now on the pro tennis circuit and is ranked No. 79 in the world.
Kurzban, looking back at his long day at the EKL tournament, says, “It was a grind throughout the whole day. There was nothing given to me, so I had to battle through every point.
“Also, every match was extremely close so I had to make sure I didn’t let the pressure take me over. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I had to make sure I did everything I could do to win.”
The Jaguar freshman finished fifth at the Class 6A state tournament recently in Wichita.
Kurzban got his start in tennis in Westchester County north of New York City.
“We had a lot of tennis programs, so it wasn’t hard to find a program that was right for me,” he says. “I didn’t play much until I moved to Kansas about three years ago.
“That is when I found Elite Squad Tennis Club. For about a year and a half, I have been taking it to the next level and working very hard to reach my goals.”
He is ranked in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association.
“I was in the top 10 in the 14s and under,” he says. “I turned 15 about four months ago, so I am working up the ladder in 16s. I am 18 in 16s.”
He says that forehand and serve are his best shots.
“I need to work on my mental game and my backhand,” he says. “I hurt my left wrist in an injury, so I switched to a one-handed backhand about two months ago.”
Tennis is his only sport on the high school level.
“I was going to play football as a kicker, but I couldn’t find time,” he says. “Hopefully, I will be able to keep that skill.”
Area tennis players dominated the Class 6A state tournament in Wichita.
· Sunflower League champion Shawnee Mission East captured the team title with 54 points. It was the third consecutive title for the Lancers.
· Blue Valley Northwest placed second with 44 points followed by BV North with 36 tallies.
· SM East senior Brooks Kendall beat sophomore teammate Jack Santilli, 6-4, 6-1, for his first state singles championship. Kendall ended his senior season with a record of 24-3.
· Blue Valley junior Anil Patel defeated BV Northwest sophomore James Lowe, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 for third place.
· BV Northwest’s doubles team of senior Max Katcher and junior Brett White won the state doubles title. The pair beat the BV North duo of seniors Mitchell Samuelson and Alex Samuelson in the championship match, 6-2, 7-5. Katcher placed fourth in singles as a junior, but a shoulder injury late in his senior season pushed him in doubles, according to Coach Ted Fabiano. The Huskies pair ended the season with a perfect record of 9-0.
· The BV Northwest second doubles team of sophomore Jonathan Lowe and freshman Yash Mylavarapu beat the second BV North team of junior Carson Fournier and sophomore Brady Flanagan, 6-3, 6-2, for third place.