Still flush with its victory at the opening tournament of the season, the Greenback girls' tennis team upped the ante with the tougher Hillsboro Invitational on Tuesday, bringing home a solid 3rd place finish out of six teams.

Still flush with its victory at the opening tournament of the season, the Greenback girls' tennis team upped the ante with the tougher Hillsboro Invitational on Tuesday, bringing home a solid 3rd place finish out of six teams.
Pratt finished behind two of the toughest teams in the state. In the most recent Kansas Tennis Coaches Association poll, Wichita Collegiate was ranked 1st while Hesston was a close 3rd.
The Hillsboro results followed that pattern with Collegiate claiming the team championship with 46 points, followed by Hesston (37), Pratt (31), Hillsboro (26), Haven (6), and Nickerson (4).
After dropping three of the four possible matches to Collegiate in pool play, most of the Pratt girls found themselves vying for third place. Only sophomore Jade Hoover, in the standout performance of the day, broke the pattern to pace all Greenbacks with a perfect 3-0 run to claim first at #2 singles.
Dispatching Makenzie Nisly from Nickerson with an 8-0 win, Hoover opened her day in convincing fashion, then frustrated Collegiate's Katie Nussbaum with an 8-1 victory.
In what proved to be one of the greatest turn-arounds in the tournament, Hoover found herself down in the final championship match against Katelyn Hageman from Hesston. Digging a 1-3, then 2-4 hole, Hoover rallied to even things up at 4-all, then took the mental edge and ran out the next four games for a 8-4 win to pocket the 1st place medal.
"This was a break-out performance for Jade," said head coach Larry Kahmeyer. "She was hitting well all day and I was thrilled she made it to the championship match. When she fell behind I thought that might be the end of her run, but to her credit, she really pulled it together."
"She's been learning the value of controlling her frustrations and never giving up and today was the pay-off. Tennis can be game of a few points here and there and Jade's improvement with mental discipline is making a huge difference in her game."
The doubles teams of Lauren McClain & Dani Williams, along with Allicia Hall & Elee Hampton, took similar paths to 3rd place finishes.
In their second outing as a team, the #1 pair of McClain and Williams thumped Latham & Strickler from Nickerson 8-0, then lost to Collegiate's Lindwall & Ramsey 1-8. Regrouping for the 3rd place consolation match, the Pratt duo decisively defeated Hillsboro's Winter & Loewen 8-1.
In assessing their play, Kahmeyer said, "Lauren and Dani had a decent day. The real test was against the Collegiate team and I was hoping for some doubles magic from them and they just fell a little short. While the score was 1-8, six of those games went to deuce and the scales tipped in Collegiate's favor. With some work, I think they can start tipping those scales their way. Their task now is to build some focus and intensity where they see themselves as a dominant team."
At the #2 doubles position, sophomores Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton mirrored the #1 team by going 2-1 for 3rd place. Starting things off with 3-8 loss to Richardson & Boyd from Collegiate, the girls regrouped to defeat Nickerson's Dixon & Smith 8-0. In the consolation match for 3rd, the girls soundly defeated Hillsboro's Kaufman & Heyen to seal the deal.
"I'm very pleased with Allica and Elee's growth," said Kahmeyer. "Everything moves faster at the varsity level and they are responding by picking up their games. We worked some on court position and volleys during the last week and I could see so much improvement in this meet"
Facing the toughest competition of the day, junior Adele Loomis went 1-2 for a 4th place finish at the #1 singles position. After losing the opening match 4-8 against a very strong Jaya Mantavani from Collegiate, Loomis defeated Nickerson's Victoria Smalling 8-0.
In her final match Loomis faced a familiar foe in Hesston's Brenda Sanchez. The two have met before with Sanchez winning both match-ups and today followed the same course with Loomis ending on the short end with a 2-8 loss.
"Adele was in a deep pool today with some strong talent," explained Kahmeyer. "Singles is pretty stacked this year and Adele is right in the mix."
In his final thoughts, Kahmeyer said, "I was hoping to match up some more with Hesston, but with the pool-play format we just didn't have the chance. Perhaps down the road we can find some more opportunities."
The Greenbacks find themselves back on the court Saturday, September 8 when they host the Pratt Invitational at 9 a.m. at Graves Park Complex.