The Pratt High School girls tennis team started their season yesterday afternoon with a third place finish behind Great Bend and Lyons.


The Pratt High School girls tennis team started their season yesterday afternoon with a third place finish behind Great Bend and Lyons.
For third place, Pratt's six players earned team medals.
Great Bend won the meet with 18 points, while Lyons was second with 10. Pratt had six and Chaparral was fourth with two points.
"The team performed about where I thought they might," head coach Larry Kahmeyer said. "I don't think most of them hit their strides until the third round. We had some moral victories that I was pleased to see."
Senior Jessica Voss was the highest placer, taking second in No. 2 singles. She lost to Great Bend 6-2, but then beat Lyons 7-6 (7-5) and Chaparral 6-2.
“Jessica dropped her first match, but won a hard-fought victory in the second (against Lyons),” Kahmeyer said. “She battled back from a 3-5 game count to go ahead 6-5, only to break a string on her racket and drop the game for a 6-6 tie. In the tiebreaker, she got down 2-4 but hung in there for a 7-5 victory. It was an important mental victory that she can build on.”
Junior Andrea Clarkson was third at No. 1 singles. She defeated the Chaparral player 6-0 after losing her first two matches (6-0 to Great Bend and 6-2 to Lyons). “Andrea played tenaciously and her first two matches were closer than the scores would indicate. Not one to be easily rattled, she stayed persistent and finished strong in her third round for a resounding 6-0 win,” Kahmeyer said.
Senior Marina Dobbs and junior Catherine Schotte were third in No. 1 doubles. They lost to Great Bend 6-0 and to Lyons 6-1 before beating Chaparral 6-2.
"I think they came in with very high expectations and didn't fully relax until the last round. They are better than their early scores would indicate, and I know they'll find themselves," Kahmeyer said."I've basically dismantled their earlier playing style so they can rebuild even stronger and I know the adjustments are challenging, but I saw them coming together in the last round."
In No. 2 doubles, senior Amanda Schmidt and sophomore Caroline Riney finished fourth, falling to Great Bend 6-0, Lyons 6-0, and Chaparral 6-2.
"Amanda and Caroline are new to the varsity, and their initiation was rough, but they finished each match with good attitudes," Kahmeyer said. "Rather than become mentally defeated and giving up, their third match was the strongest and they left with some positive experiences. They now know what they need to work on to become competitive, and I was pleased that they earned team medals."
Pratt will host a JV meet on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. at the Graves Park Tennis Complex. The varsity team will compete in a round robin at Larned on Thursday, Sept. 4.