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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • PHS netters take 3rd in GC

  • In a fifteen-hour door-to-door marathon, the Pratt High girls tennis team left at 5:45 a.m., travelled 260 miles, played eight hours of tennis, and brought home a hard-earned 3rd place finish at the 12-team Garden City Invitational on Saturday.
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  • In a fifteen-hour door-to-door marathon, the Pratt High girls tennis team left at 5:45 a.m., travelled 260 miles, played eight hours of tennis, and brought home a hard-earned 3rd place finish at the 12-team Garden City Invitational on Saturday.
    Tournament newcomer Maize South paced all teams with 46 points, followed by Great Bend (43), Pratt (38), and Hays (35).
    Continuing their pursuit of a great season, the #1 doubles team of Lauren McClain and Dani Williams put together a 3-1 day for 3rd place in a tough field.
    After a first round bye and an easy 8-0 win over Colby, the girls hit the semi-finals and found themselves across the net from Maize South's Gerstenkorn & Suchan. Down 3-4, the Pratt girls took the upper hand to get a 6-5 lead, but saw that slip to a 7-all tie. In the tie-breaker, Maize South finally put two points together to take it 8-6.
    Regrouping after the disappointing loss, the girls routed Meade 8-0 to face Hays' Bird and Gagnon in the consolation finals for 3rd. Gaining a 5-2 upper hand, McClain and Williams gave up two games to see the lead slip to 5-4, then exchanged games to finally win the match 8-6.
    While every match contributed to the team finish, the timing of the win secured Pratt's 3rd place finish ahead of Hays.
    "Lauren and Dani are one element away from being a really top-tier team," reflected Kahmeyer. "They can fight back from being down and even pull ahead, but they've got to keep that same intensity going until the end to put matches away when they have the lead."
    Junior Adele Loomis put together a solid 3-2 effort to match her seed and place 5th in a tough field of singles players.
    In an opening round 8-2 win over Garden City's JV entry, Loomis faced Dinkel from Hays. In a tight contest, Dinkel pulled ahead at the end to take the 8-6 win.
    Finding herself on the backside of the bracket, Loomis forged ahead with a 8-2 win over Liberal and added another 8-1 win over Meade. One match shy of the consolation finals, Loomis dropped a tie-breaker 7-8 (3-7) to Schmidt from Garden City.
    Her last match for 5th was derailed when her Hays opponent badly sprained an ankle in the previous match and had to default.
    "Adele has some big successes today," added Kahmeyer. "She's learning to deal with a softer style of player who just gets the ball back. She had a couple of tough losses, but I still see that as a big improvement - they might've been bigger losses a meet or two ago. "
    Jade Hoover, playing #2 singles, entered the tournament with a perfect 21-0 record. Seeded 2nd, Hoover took on a talented pool knowing the competition would be tough.
    Page 2 of 2 - With a first round bye, Hoover easily defeated Liberal in the second round 8-1, then ran into third-seeded Marcy Cuestas from Maize South. Cuestas, playing a solid get-everything-back game with some occasional net pressure, finally ended Hoover's perfect season with a dominant 8-1 win. Rebounding from the loss, Hoover ran the rest of the backside bracket racking up two 8-1 victories over Hays and Garden City to take 3rd.
    "It's tough to see a perfect season end, but it almost always has to happen at some point," said Kahmeyer. "Jade was understandably upset, but to her credit she shook it off and got right back to work. She's still 24-1 and that's a heck of a record going into the league tournament."
    Rounding out the Greenbacks' successful day was the #2 doubles team of Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton. Seeded fourth, the girls went 3-1 to better their seed by one and take 3rd. Jumping in to the second round after a bye, Hall & Hampton thrashed Meade 8-1, then lost to #1-seeded Maize South 2-8. Hall sprained her ankle in the Maize South match, but fought on and after taping it up, continue the successful quest with partner Hampton to defeat Garden City 8-4 and Meade 8-0 win the consolation bracket.
    "The girls played well in a tough tournament and with Allicia's sprained ankle, under some adverse conditions. They're quietly tough," said Kahmeyer.
    Next match is CKL at Hesston on Saturday.

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