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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • PHS tennis wins home Invite

  • In a collective performance that hadn't been witnessed in over a decade, the Pratt High girls' tennis team conquered some quality competition to win their home invitational on Saturday.
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  • In a collective performance that hadn't been witnessed in over a decade, the Pratt High girls' tennis team conquered some quality competition to win their home invitational on Saturday.
    Pulling out the one-point win, Pratt finished with 49 points to Larned's 48, followed by Wellington (45), Sterling (30), Greeley County (28), Chaparral (10), and Ulysses (0). Kingman, normally a participant, was unable to attend because of a band conflict.
    Two of Pratt entries ran the table in pool play and the finals to end the day with a 3-0 record. Juniors Lauren McClain and Dani Williams had their best outing of the season in a dominating performance and sophomore Jade Hoover continued her unbeaten streak, going 3-0 at the #2 singles spot.
    McClain and Williams shut out both Greeley County and Sterling 7-0 in pool play, then crushed Wellington 7-2 in the finals to claim the championship.
    "I've been waiting for Lauren and Dani to put it all together and today they did. In only their third meet together, they are starting to figure out their roles, how to work together on the court and play some intimidating tennis," said head coach Larry Kahmeyer. "There will be other tests, of course, but today they saw what they have in chemistry and complementary skills. It was fun to watch!"
    Jade Hoover whipped Greeley County 7-0 in her opening match, then came from behind to overtake Sterling's McKenzie Thrasher 7-5. She then dispatched Sober from Wellington 7-1 to pocket the first place medal.
    "I can't overstate Jade's performance today," Kahmeyer said. "She was really against the ropes and almost counted out, but she found a way to snatch the victory from her opponent's grasp. Her match against Sterling was an inspiring win and critical to our first place team finish."
    Junior Adele Loomis, at the helm of #1 singles, also turned in an excellent performance to wrap up second place.
    Loomis defeated Megan Reding from Greeley County 7-5 and Ryce Suckey from Sterling 7-4 before falling in the finals to Jessi Johnson from Larned 3-7.
    "Today was a great test for Adele and she performed wonderfully," said Kahmeyer. "I was thrilled with her match over Greeley's girl. By any definition, that was a quality win that may have some positive benefits down the road toward regionals. I believe Adele has the ability to avenge her loss to Larned, so with some work in practice, it'll be interesting to see where that goes when we head to their tournament."
    Rounding things out for the Greenbacks, the #2 doubles team of Allicia Hall and Elle Hampton went 2-1 yet ended only being able to play for 5th place. In their pool play matches, Hall and Hampton beat Greeley's team 7-5, then lost a close 4-7 match to Sterling. All three teams in the pool ended up with a 1-1 record and after counting win/loss percentages, the Pratt girls ended up third out of the three teams. Shrugging off the disappointment, the Pratt duo finished strong with a decisive 7-3 win over Chaparral to help secure the first place team finish.
    Page 2 of 2 - Reflected Kahmeyer, "Even though they (Hall and Hampton) were out of the running for medals, I was pleased to see them take that last match seriously. Win it and we win the team championship. Lose it and we are runners-up. Every game and every match is important and they did what they had to do."
    In summing up the team's victory, Kahmeyer said, "In one capacity or another, I've been around Pratt High tennis since 1998 and I have no recollection of us ever winning this tournament. I told the girls they should be proud of making history…at least recent history…and they did it against some strong competition. We've got some bigger tests coming up, but they are playing well and every member is adding to the success."
    Rounding out a busy week, the Greenbacks headed to Maize South on Monday for one of their most challenging meets of the season, then to Larned on Thursday and Smoky Valley on Saturday.

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