A Prairie Village duo with a passion for paddles has taken home top honors in this year’s Kansas City Men’s Open platform tennis tournament — and they have their sights set even higher.
Andy Metzler and Kevin Kowalik of Homestead Country Club won the tournament, now in its 12th year, and will be competing in the St. Louis Open Men’s tournament in February and then the APTA Men’s Nationals in Long Island, NY, in March.
Kowalik, who is a pro at the club, said this was he and Metzler’s first time to win a tournament together. Metzler, a Rockhurst graduate, played college tennis at the University of Kansas and then the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and took up platform tennis around 2007. Kowalik said he started playing platform tennis around 2009 as a way to keep his tennis skills sharp in the off season.
Until this year, Metzler and Kowalik had to hone their platform chops away from their home club. But Homestead added platform courts last year, becoming the third club in the Kansas City-area to offer them to members, and making it easier to practice.
Kowalik said that because the sport is still growing in the area, he expects that he and Metzler will face stiff competition from teams where the sport is more popular.
“I think we’ll be able to compete,” Kowalik said. “But there are tournaments all the time on the east coast and in Chicago, and those teams get a lot of play in. We’re going to out and give it our best, and whatever happens, happens.”