It was perfection at it’s highest level as Class 2A’s fourth-ranked Waukee Warriors bested seventh-ranked West Des Moines Valley 11-0 Monday night in Waukee.
Just one loss out of 23 total sets spelled victory for the Warriors, their third straight one-on-one match-up of the season. Both Will Ecklund and Sai Rayasam put forth unblemished matches without giving up a single set point. Ecklund made the most of the serving mistakes by Valley’s Neil Sura and jumped out to early 4-0 set leads before taking both in unblemished fashion. Rayasam covered a lot of ground during his match and his versatility with a pair of 6-0 set wins.
No one had a better serving match than returning state qualifier who captured a majority of his points via the serve. The senior jumped out to an early 4-0 lead before giving up his first set point of the match. Burmeister would go on to win set one 6-1 and after two late-set points by Valley’s Kyle Elmore, Burmeister utilized his powerful serving to take set two and the match 6-2. Burmeister utilized his serve extremely well last season and that came back in full force for the 2019 season, highlighted by Monday afternoon. The senior spoke about his dominating serve and what worked best for him against Valley.
“It’s windy so I was working with my more reliable serve which has a big kick to it,” began Burmeister. “I knew that serve would give me high percentage shots especially with the wind.”
Another aspect that favored Burmeister last year was his backhand capabilities which were on full display as well Monday evening.
“I feel like my backhand is better than my forehand,” said Burmeister. “I feel like if I get into cross court volleys with backhands, I feel I can win a high percentage of them. I feel I can manipulate the ball more with my backhand, move it side to side and place it better.”
Sam Fouts showcased his skill in covering the entire court and that range allowed him to jump out to an early 4-1 lead and take set one 6-1. Set two had a few back and forth moments but Fouts turned on the jets and captured the final few points of the set to take the match and the set 6-3. Despite some serving woes early, Steven Dana broke through late in set one 6-4 and just kept on going from there, winning set two 6-1.
Waukee fell in just two sets across all of their doubles matches. The dynamic tag-team of Burmeister and Ecklund put up serving that couldn’t be matched to take set one 6-0 while overcoming a late Valley point in set two to take the match 6-1. The pair of Danna and Fouts had to overcome a 6-4 set one loss but they did just that, winning 7-5 in set two, and capturing the match win with a 1-0 set three victory.
The freshman pair of Pujit Mekala and Sai Rayasam jumped out to early leads in both sets and managed to overcome late rallies to win both sets 6-2. The duo of returning state doubles star Wyatt Karras and newcomer Eric Stradling had the stingiest match of the night. The pair overcame early surges by Valley to capture set one 6-3. Set two was such a back and forth match that it took late into the match before Karras and Stradling could pull away, eventually winning 7-5. In the final doubles match of the night, Adam Severson and Justin Urban took set one 6-2 while having to come from behind to claim the match with a narrow 7-6 set two victory.
Up next for the Warriors will be another home stand today, this time against Ankeny Centennial with singles matches beginning at 4 p.m.