There are many words that could be used to describe the Greenback girls' performance at the Lyons tennis meet on Thursday afternoon: "Dominating." "Sweep." "Three-peat." "Champions." Even combine all four terms and the resulting sentence would still be true: "In a dominating sweep, the Lady Greenbacks three-peated as champions at the Lyons Quad."
Battling wind and heat, the Greenback girls garnered a perfect 18 points to shut out Great Bend (6), Chaparral (6) and Lyons (6) to take all 12 matches played.
In an impressive day at the #1 singles spot, junior Adele Loomis went 3-0 without giving up one game to her opponents. Dispatching Great Bend's Becca Brining 6-0 in the first round, Adele followed up with a closer-than-the-score-would-indicate 6-0 win over Brittanie Eskut from Lyons, then completed the trifecta by defeating Chaparral's Kelci Hill 6-0.
In assessing her play, head coach Larry Kahmeyer said, "Adele's hard work this summer has really paid dividends. So many elements of her game have improved. Her consistency, shot selection, net-play, and confidence have all taken huge strides. This was a good meet to test her wings at the top singles spot and she was up to the challenge. While the scores would indicate she walked through the day, that's not the true picture. Eskut from Lyons put up a solid fight and many of the games went to deuce. Adele just has a quiet, yet fiercely competitive streak and she digs in and wins those critical points."
Mirroring Adele's day, the #1 doubles team of Lauren McClain and Dani Williams gave up only one game in routing their opponents. The Pratt pair started with a 6-0 thrashing of VanderMeer and Schumacher from Great Bend, followed by another 6-0 win over Lyons' Miller and Snyder, and closed out the day with a solid 6-1 defeat of Mathes and Mathes from Chaparral. The team of McClain and Williams is a new combination with McClain coming off of two previous years of qualifying for the state tournament in singles as a freshman and sophomore and Williams losing her two-year partner to graduation.
"Today was a bit of an experiment that seems to have worked out," explained Kahmeyer. "Lauren has been our go-to singles player for two years, but Dani needed a good doubles partner. Knowing that Adele can handle the demands at #1 singles, Lauren and Dani wanted to give the doubles pairing a run. Their skills compliment each other. Lauren's ground game is very, very consistent and Dani is a monster at the net. There are some gaps that can be filled, of course, but they have the chemistry and skills of a good team. It'll be exciting to see how this develops."
In her first varsity action of the season, sophomore Jade Hoover made a good showing at the #2 singles position. Pitted against Great Bend's Rebecca Dawson, Jade dropped the first game only to run out the next six for a decisive 6-1 win. Her middle match was a quick 6-0 defeat of Lyons' Kari McClure, followed by a book-end 6-1 win over Leah Seipel from Chaparral.
Page 2 of 2 - "Jade had a great first day," reflected Kahmeyer. "The interesting thing about Jade's game is her biggest challenge isn't the physical aspects of tennis. She demands a lot from herself and she can get frustrated when she doesn't play up to her own expectations. Today she showed how much her mental game is growing. In both the first and last matches, she lost the first game only to win the next six. She's learning to move on from a disappointment and that is huge in tennis. If she can master that, she will become a formidable competitor."
Also new to varsity competition, the doubles team of sophomores Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton paired up to go 3-0 for first place at #2 doubles. Facing Fruend and McIntosh from Great Bend, the Pratt girls took a convincing 6-1 win. Daniels and Reid from Lyons went down in similar 6-1 fashion in the middle match while Chaparral's Hall and Drouhard put up a little more challenge, yet lost 6-2 to the Pratt do.
"I was really proud of Allicia and Elee. It's pretty nerve-wracking jumping up to varsity but these girls didn't flinch. If they were nervous, they disguised it very well. There is still a lot of work to do but the basics are in place and with some hard work, they can be a team to be reckoned with.