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Kapaun the favorite heading into City League boys tennis tournament

Published May 1 at 12:45 p.m. | Last updated May 1 at 12:46 p.m.

Kapaun Mount Carmel cruised through its City League boys tennis schedule unbeaten, beating six opponents 9-0 and winning 8-1 against East and 6-3 against Carroll.

But winning a league title got a bit tougher for the Crusaders this week when No. 1 singles player Mason Born failed to show for Kapaun’s match against West on Monday.

“If you don’t call me, text me or tell the assistant coach that you’re not there, you don’t play the next match,” Kapaun coach Chip Reed said. “The next match is City League.

“… I don’t care who you are, if you don’t follow the rules, you don’t play.”

Born, who finished 10th in Class 5A in 2013 while at Andover, was a favorite to win the league singles title.

Reed had planned to play Tommasso Piani, a foreign-exchange student, at No. 1 doubles, but he’ll play No. 1 singles instead.

“Mason lost his chance to be City League champ, so Tommasso will play there,” Reed said. “It was a close match on Monday with (West senior Derek) Drew.”

Piani beat Drew in three sets.

The City League team tennis title is based on the regular season and the postseason, with points given based on how teams finish in the regular season and in the league tournament.

How the teams shake out should be interesting to watch.

“West has Drew and a good doubles team, while Carroll is just a solid one through six,” Reed said. “And Northwest has good players, too.”

If Kapaun finishes second in the league tourney behind Carroll, which currently is second at 7-1 after the regular season, then the teams would tie for the league title just as they did in 2013.

Carroll, which graduated four varsity players from 2013, has won or shared the City League title each of the past 10 seasons.

The Eagles are led by Kaleb Ward at No. 1 singles, while Patrick Law and Christian Nguyen have teamed up to go unbeaten in league play.

West coach Tom Wilcox believes Drew has a good shot at winning the City League title, especially if there isn’t as much wind as there was in the match against Kapaun.

“The airport said they had wind gusts up to 60, 65 mph,” said Wilcox, whose team is 5-3 in league play for the second straight season. “… Under 20 mph would be nice for City League. I think we have an excellent chance to take the No. 1 singles title and the No. 1 doubles title.”

West’s team of Hakeem Thomas and Kumar Bhakta has two losses in the City League. But Kapaun will counter with its doubles team of senior Dustin Herman and sophomore Jason Searl.

“They’re 11-2 and they play really well together,” Reed said.

Reach Joanna Chadwick at 316-268-6270 or jchadwick@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @joannachadwick.