June 5, 2021

By Fred Liggett

On May 28 and 29 several teams and many players competed for a state tennis championship at the state meet held in Springfield, Missouri. The Lee’s Summit West Titans were one of those teams and while in town recorded the best finish in school history finishing in third place.

Arnav Gannavaram and Coach Paul Klene

LS West boys tennis coach Paul Klene said of the Titans “just a bunch of good guys, all worked well together.” Klene feels the Titans doubles team has a good line up as “only loss was to Rockhurst.” Following the semi-final round loss, the Titans rebounded in a big way on Saturday, May 29 by claiming third place in the state. The Titans outscored Columbia Rock Bridge 5-1.

Mathew Kimaku sealed the win over Rockbridge with win # 5

Hogan Stoker, who is headed to Austin Peay this fall, was the number one singles player. Stoker finished eighth and Arnav Gannavaram finished fourth to provide the Titans with two top finishers. All top eight finishers are named All State giving both Titans all state honors this season. Arnav is just a sophomore who lost to the eventual state champion. Klene says, “Arnav Gannavaram hit a tweener against his Rock Bridge opponent.” Tweener is the tennis equivalent to a hat trick in soccer. Klene adds, “Arnav is the first Titan ever to do this at the state meet.”

The Titans finished up the 2021 season at the Class 3 state meet held at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield with a third place trophy. The Titans finished behind state champion John Burroughs and runner up Rockhurst.