Pratt High School's Lauren McClain and Dani Williams placed 3rd in doubles, advancing to state out of the regional held Saturday in Pratt. The rest of the PHS netters saw their seasons come to an end, however.
In singles action, Adele Loomis and Jade Hoover found their path to state a difficult one. On the strength of a 27-1 record and quality wins in the regular season, Hoover was seeded 8th while Loomis was drawn into the bracket for the play-in match at the 13th seed.
In her first action on Friday, Loomis soundly defeated Colby's Wallingford 9-1. Moving into the first round, Loomis found herself playing Sarnacki, Winfield's #1 player. While playing well, Sarnacki's consistent game got the better of Loomis in a 0-6, 1-6 defeat. The loss knocked Loomis out of contention.
"Adele had a great season," said coach Larry Kahmeyer. "She stepped up to the #1 singles spot after playing at the #2 spot last year and the competition is a magnitude more challenging. She got some great wins during the season and ended with an 18-14 winning record. She's already got an off-season plan for improving."
Jade Hoover's first round was equally tough as she was pitted against Hefley from Wellington, a steady senior with a 12-3 record. After a 1-6 first set loss, Hoover found battled to a 3-1 lead in the second, then finally lost a 5-7 heart-breaker to end her day and season.
"Jade had an unbelievable season and entered the tournament with only one loss, so I know getting knocked out in the first round was very tough for her to stomach," commented Kahmeyer.son to be really proud of an amazing season – she just ran into some tough competition!"
In the doubles bracket, sophomores Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton drew a random number and found themselves on the worst possible line against the #1 seeds from Collegiate. While the girls played some of their best tennis of the season, the experience of the Collegiate girls overpowered them for a 2-6, 0-6 defeat, ending their season.
"I couldn't have been more proud of Allicia and Elle," enthused Kahmeyer. "This was their first season at varsity and they put together a 19-10 winning record against some very strong competition."
In the most successful showing for the Greenbacks, junior partners Lauren McClain and Dani Williams were seeded 5th, but put together a 3-1 tear through the bracket to place 3rd and qualify for the state tournament.
"In some tournament pre-planning, I thought the girls could get seeded any where from 3rd to 6th and they fell right in that range at 5th. They lost a the seeding vote to Wellington's team who went 4th, but it worked out in the end," said Kahmeyer.
In first round play, McClain and Williams faced Lamm and Lindberg from Colby and handled them 6-3, 6-0 to move on.
Page 2 of 2 - Upping the ante in the quarterfinals, the Pratt pair had to face Wellington's Jenkins and Collins who were seeded one spot higher. In a dominating performance, McClain and Williams quickly put away the match 6-3, 6-1 to punch their tickets to state.
After retiring for Friday, the girls headed back to the courts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, only to see the meet rained out and postponed until Sunday at noon.
In their semi-final match, the girls took to the courts against Collegiate's #1-seeded Dunn & Funke, After stealing the first set 6-3, McClain and Williams saw the Collegiate girls come alive to take the next two sets 6-2, 6-2. The loss bumped the girls to the consolation match for 3rd against a second Wellington team.
Shaking off the loss, McClain and Williams took to the courts for a final match against Whaley and Adams, Wellington's #2 team. After a quick first set win at 6-2, the Wellington girls put up a battle but Pratt prevailed 6-4 to nail down 3rd .
In assessing their outlook for state, Kahmeyer said, "That final win was important. Lauren and Dani will face a 6th seed from another regional instead of a 5th and that can be huge in the first round."
The state meet will be hosted by Baldwin High School at Emporia on Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13.
The seeding meeting starts at 10 a.m. with play beginning around 11:20.