Game, set, match!

Girls tennis takes district title for first time since 2007


Coach Nick Tanurchis

Members of the varsity girls tennis team hold their trophy for winning the district tournament.

For the first time since 2007, the Parkway South High girls varsity tennis team has won Districts.

The team consisted of freshmen Khayli Buckels, Bhavya Koya and Grace Portuese; sophomores Sarayu Kalwa and Mounica Valluru; and seniors Maggie Moore, Danielle Mullen, Sammi Kasthuri and Anna Sawyer. The head coach is Nick Tanurchis.

Going into the postseason, the girls’ regular-season record was 7-6.

Koya said she thought the regular season went very well.

“Lots of good energy, we’re very invested, we bond, and are very close to each other,” Koya said.

Moore agreed with Koya.

“We’re doing pretty well; we keep on fighting until the last point, and we love to have fun,” Moore said.

This year the tennis team decided to do secret sisters, a team-building activity where the girls randomly pulled a slip of paper out of a bag that had someone else’s name on it. The girls then proceeded to buy small gifts for that person throughout the season based on the theme of the week. At the end of the season, they revealed who they were, resulting in many smiles and was an example of the team bonding that occurred throughout the season.

Moore plays doubles for the Patriots. Her partner for the regular season was Sammi Kasthuri, however, for the postseason, Tanurchis decided to put her with Khayli Buckels.

“[I like] doubles,” said Moore, “You get to be with someone else and the pressure isn’t all on you. You can pump them up, it helps remind you it’s a team thing.”

Moore and Buckels also took sixth place in the State Championship as an individual doubles team.

“The team is very tight, they worked very hard and bonded to get to the top,” Moore said.

In her sophomore year, Moore took fourth in the state, with doubles partner Emily Xu.

“High fives between points builds bonds. The only reason why Emily Xu made it so far is because we did high fives. It made me think she wasn’t disappointed in me and she believes and is proud of me,” Moore said. 

This year was especially rewarding because the girls won the District Championships, which hasn’t happened in 12 years. After winning that, the girls continued to fight, ending up getting to the State Championship and finishing as one of the top eight teams in the state of Missouri

Tanurchis was over the moon about the girls winning Districts.

“I think it’s fantastic and it doesn’t happen that often and it’s a great feeling for everybody. We worked hard to do that and even when you’re expected to do so, it’s still a challenge but overall I’m very happy to see the girls win,” he said.