KU Storms Back for 6-4 Three-peat!

Kevin Thornton drives to victory

STILWELL, KS — After falling into a 3-1 deficit in the opening round of the Alumni Cup test on Friday, KU’s chances when play resumed on Sunday looked a lot like the weather — cold and bleak. No worries though, KU came out on fire and swept the third round to move out to an improbable 4-3 lead. All of the sudden scratching their way to tie to force an extra round doubles match changed to “we can win this now.”

PHOTOS | PHOTO SLIDESHOW

The third round momentum switch occurred when KU’s #2 Kevin Thornton pulled off a 32-27 upset win over KSU’s #1 Steve McMahon. With KU’s #1 Dylan Goodwin taking a predicted win over KSU’s #2 Greg Lloyd 32-4, the Jayhawk alumns pulled to 3-3. The Thornton win was a shocker in that he had dropped the matchup with Greg Lloyd on Friday night 32-29.

But there was more. The final game between the number three’s was still in progress and all of the other test players got a chance to watch the action. Playing in just his third partner ball nine-wicket game KU’s Chris Ward was able to sneak out a 32dp-13 win over KSU’s Chris Stephens. That’s right — a double peel for the win.

With a 4-3 lead going into the fourth round, KU was playing with house money. In the #1’s game, Goodwin established a commanding lead and control early Steve McMahon. On court one, KSU’s Lloyd played to form and beat Ward 32-10 to briefly tie the test at 4-4. Despite a few end game flubs, Goodwin finished McMahon 32-6 and a 5-4 lead to KU.

All eyes then turned to the Thornton-Stephens matchup. Thornton had established a good lead and control of the game, but Stephens did have some late openings that allowed him to disrupt Thornton’s march to the test-clinching victory. Eventually though, Thornton lined things out and pegged both balls for 32-23 win.

The 6-4 overall win was KU’s third straight in the young history of the Alumni Cup. KSU won the first Alumni Cup event in 2008.

All of the singles matches ended with double-peg winners which demonstrates that club is probably ready to upgrade from the Oakley Woods sport wickets. The fields were fast with just enough un-predictability to offer up some good plot twists.

RESULTS

FRIDAY, MAY 13
Round One – 5:00 p.m.
KU-Goodwin/Thornton vs KSU-Lloyd/McMahon (KSU 20-17)

Round Two – 6:30 p.m.
KU-Goodwin vs KSU-Stephens (KU 32-8)
KSU-McMahon vs KU-Ward (KSU 32-20)
KU-Thornton vs KSU-Lloyd (KSU 32-29)

SUNDAY, MAY 15
Round Three – 1:00 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU Lloyd (KU 32-4)
KSU McMahon vs KU Thornton (KU 32-27)
KU Ward vs KSU Stephens (KU 32dp-13)

Round Four – 2:30 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU McMahon (KU 32-6)
KU Thornton vs KSU Stephens (KU 32-23)
KSU Lloyd vs KU Ward (KSU 32-10)

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KSU Jumps Out 3-1

STILWELL, KS — The Kansas State Alumni squad survived a chilly evening on Friday night to snag an early 3-1 lead over KU in the Alumni Cup test. All games played out to the rankings with the opening doubles match serving as the key to a fast start for KSU. Playing for KSU, Steve McMahon and Greg Lloyd were able to secure a 20-17 win over Dylan Goodwin and Kevin Thornton. Goodwin had a longshot chance to force an extra round while in last balls but grabbed the turf on a long roll out shot and came up short in trying to establish a rush. Action resumes Sunday afternoon and KSU needs just three more wins to claim the test.

RESULTS/SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, MAY 13

Round One – 5:00 p.m.
KU-Goodwin/Thornton vs KSU-Lloyd/McMahon (KSU 20-17)

Round Two – 6:30 p.m.
KU-Goodwin vs KSU-Stephens (KU 32-8)
KSU-McMahon vs KU-Ward (KSU 32-20)
KU-Thornton vs KSU-Lloyd (KSU 32-29)

SUNDAY, MAY 15

Round Three – 1:00 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU Lloyd
KSU McMahon vs KU Thornton
KU Ward vs KSU Stephens

Round Four – 2:30 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU McMahon
KU Thornton vs KSU Stephens
KSU Lloyd vs KU Ward

Round Five – 4:00 p.m. (if necessary)
Doubles Match TBD

First team to six wins claims the Alumni Cup. Four rounds will be played out. Fifth round will only be played in case of a 5-5 tie. Fifth round will be doubles and teams must put out a different line-up than they did for round one.

Alumni Cup Will Start Club Ladder

STILWELL, KS — It has been determined that single’s games played in this weekend’s Alumni Cup test will count in the KC Club Championship ladder. Rankings start as follows:

1. Dylan Goodwin
2. Steve McMahon
3. Greg Lloyd
4. Chris Stephens
5. Kevin Thornton
6. Matt Tusken
7. Chris Ward

Alumni Cup IV – Dates Set

The dates and rosters are set for the fourth edition of the annual Alumni Cup battle. The 10-game test pits club alumns from KU and KSU against each other in nine-wicket play. Dylan Goodwin, Kevin Thornton and Chris Ward will represent KU and all return from last year’s winning KU squad. Greg Lloyd, Steve McMahon and Chris Stephens will represent the KSU side. KU leads the series 2-1.

SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, MAY 13

Round One – 5:00 p.m.
Doubles KU (Goodwin/Thornton) vs KSU (TBD)

Round Two – 6:30 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU Stephens
KSU McMahon vs KU Ward
KU Thornton vs KSU Lloyd

SUNDAY, MAY 15

Round Three – 1:00 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU Lloyd
KSU McMahon vs KU Thornton
KU Ward vs KSU Stephens

Round Four – 2:30 p.m.
KU Goodwin vs KSU McMahon
KU Thornton vs KSU Stephens
KSU Lloyd vs KU Ward

Round Five – 4:00 p.m. (if necessary)
Doubles Match TBD

First team to six wins claims the Alumni Cup. Four rounds will be played out. Fifth round will only be played in case of a 5-5 tie. Fifth round will be doubles and teams must put out a different line-up than the did for round one.