Saturday’s Big Three Invite provided one final tune-up for the Grand Island Senior High boys tennis team before the state tournament.
But it also provided the opportunity – for one chilly morning only – to debut a pretty solid No. 1 doubles team.
Chance Keopanya and Joe Huston – the team’s most experienced veterans who will play in the singles positions for the Islanders at the state tournament — teamed up and earned a pair of convincing wins at No. 1 doubles.
They defeated Norfolk 8-2 and Columbus 8-3.
“They were dying to play together and we finally let them,” G.I. coach Alexia Grefe said. “They had a blast.”
Since Keopanya, who will play at No. 2 singles at state, is a senior, this was a one-time appearance at the No. 1 doubles spot in a tournament lineup. Keopanya and Huston were regular partners at No. 3 doubles in Grand Island’s dual lineup.
The “new” doubles team was part of a pretty successful way to end the regular season for the Islanders.
Grand Island swept all four matches against Norfolk. It split its four matches with Columbus but won in both No. 1 positions. Braedon Root posted an 8-0 shutout at No. 1 singles.
“It went well,” Grefe said. “The boys had fun. We kind of switched things around like we normally woudn’t. But we had fun, and that was good.
“I think they’re ready for state. It’s that time. They’re ready to get going.”
Austen Lamborn at No. 2 singles and the No. 2 doubles team of Austin Ryan and Brennon Root split their two matches in the triangular.
Big Three Invite
Grand Island 4, Norfolk 0
No. 1 singles—Braedon Root, GI, def. Jonathan Ingram, N, 8-3.
No. 2 singles—Austen Lamborn, GI, def. Nick Collins, N, 8-5.
No. 1 doubles—Chance Keopanya/Joe Huston, GI, def. Mitch Dudley/Alex Busskohl, N, 8-2.
No. 2 doubles—Austin Ryan/Brennon Root, GI, def. Landon Murotz/Keaton Kreikemeier, N, 8-3.
Grand Island 2, Columbus 2
No. 1 singles—Braedon Root, GI, def. Matt Loseke, C, 8-0.
No. 2 singles—Zach Walkenhorst, C, def. Austen Lamborn, GI, 8-2.
No. 1 doubles—Chance Keopanya/Joe Huston, GI, def. Andrew Raitt/Noah Schacher, C, 8-3.
No. 2 doubles—Alex Beiermann/Colin Klatt, C, def. Austin Ryan/Brennon Root, GI, 8-1.