The Knights traveled to Springfield on Monday, May 15, and won 5-4 against Willard to advance to the team's third straight trip to the MSHSAA Team State Championship.
The Knights faced 17-2 Willard at the Cooper Center in Springfield. Off to a rocky start, the Knights came out of doubles 1-2. Sankeerth Gandhari and George Colombo came from behind 4-7 to push into a tiebreaker that they lost 8-9 (3-7). At #2 doubles, Aaram Salam and Liam Groden also lost a tough tiebreaker, 8-9 (8-10 ). At #3 doubles, Sanjeev Adma and Shayan Ahmed pulled out a key first point with an 8-1 victory. That left Barstow needing four of the six singles matches to win the match. Sankeerth Gandhari against a strong #1 hung tough the first set before losing 4-6, 1-6, and Liam Groden at #3 finished next with a tough loss,3-6, 5-7.
Down 2-4 this left the Knights needing all three of the remaining singles matches on court. At #4 freshman Sanjeev Adma picked up his second win for the team on the day. With consistent first serves and solid groundstrokes, Sanjeev dominated his match 6-2, 6-2. At #5 singles, senior Aaram Salam picked off a critical win. With solid serves and an aggressive game coming to the net, Aaram won 6-2, 6-2 to move the score to 4-4.
With the team trip to the final four on the line, one court was left, #6 singles with sophomore Shayan Ahmed. Shayan opened strong with a 5-2 lead, but let that slip to move to a 5-5 tie before breaking serve and holding his own serve for a 7-5 first set. In the second set, Shayan took another early lead letting one match point slip away before again breaking serve and holding his own to win the game at love with four consecutive first serves and pick up his second point of the day to move the team on to Springfield for the MSHSAA Team State Championships on Saturday, May 27.
Sankeerth and George in doubles, Aaram and Sanjeev in doubles, and Liam Groden in singles all move on to play in the Individual MSHSAA State Tournament in Springfield from May 18-20 at the Cooper Center.