St. Joseph's earned its 14th consecutive berth in the state's final four.
After a 5-0 loss to Parkway South in the Class 2 sectional round Saturday morning, the Central girls tennis team was deprived of the chance to take on defending state champion St. Joseph's Academy in the afternoon quarterfinal round.
Perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing, as the 10-time state champion rolled to its 13th consecutive berth in the final four. St. Joseph's hammered Parkway South 6-0 after beating Rockwood Summit 6-0.
The Angels play this week in the state team tournament in Springfield, Mo.
Central will have two doubles teams at the event, and its chances of getting past St. Joe's, a private school in Frontenac, Mo., on Saturday were slim.
The Tigers, who had lost 5-4 in last year's sectional, failed to take a match against the Patriots.
"I thought we hit the ball pretty well," Central coach Annette Slattery said. "There were a couple of matches maybe we could have pulled out and sent it into doubles. Parkway South was really good. Their top three players were really good, so I don't know what to say about St. Joseph's beating them 6-0."
Central, which was 13-1 in dual matches this season, lost some close matches up top. No. 2 Sarah Ford was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Amanda Davis. No. 1 Dani Gross and No. 3 Monica Toole both lost a 6-4 set in their matches.
No. 4 Lindsey Pingel won a set against Wendy Jennings, and her match was suspended at 4-6, 6-2, 2-1 when the Patriots clinched the quarterfinal berth.
"We're not used to seeing that many girls in our area who hit the ball that hard with that kind of topspin," Slattery said. "And with no-ad scoring, you don't get much time to get used to it."
PARKWAY SOUTH 5, CENTRAL 0
1. Laura Richardson (PS) def. Dani Gross 6-0, 6-4; 2. Amanda Davis (PS) def. Sarah Ford 6-4, 7-5; 3. Kayla Monti (PS) def. Monica Toole 6-4, 6-0; 4. Wendy Jennings (PS) def. Lindsey Pingel 4-6, 6-2, 2-1 (suspended); 5. Nora Kennedy (PS) def. Paige Foley 6-0, 6-2; 6. Quan Wang (PS) def. Kristen Ford 6-1, 6-2