Following a 1st place finish with 3rd might seem like a letdown, but nothing could be further from the truth. On Tuesday, the Greenback netters travelled to Smoky Valley and achieved their best showing in a decade. State-ranked Hesston and Abilene took top honors with 50 and 47 points, respectively, followed by Pratt (37), Collegiate (30), Smoky Valley Black (17), Hillsboro (8), Concordia (7), and Smoky Valley Orange (2).
Thomas Mayberry paced all Greenbacks with a career-best 3rd place finish at singles. Two easy opening round wins led to a loss against champion Barlow from Abilene, but raised Mayberry’s game to notch an 8-4 victory over Hesston’s LeFevre in the match for 3rd.
“The win over LeFevre was a career benchmark for Thomas,” said coach Larry Kahmeyer. “Thomas played him exactly how he needed to. He’s serving better and developing a patient game, forcing his opponents into making errors. The win should really benefit him for regional seeding.”
Doubles partners Liam Kahmeyer and Christian Kurz also went 3-1. An 8-6 loss to Hesston cost them a semi-final appearance, but the pair rebounded for an 8-1 thrashing of Smoky Valley for 5th.
“As a new pair, Liam and Christian are still working out their dynamics as a team. They were disappointed by the loss to Hesston, but completely dominated all other opponents. They are 6-1 on the season and the one loss was by two games, so I know they can be a great team,” commented Kahmeyer.
Jonathan Schotte continued his growth as a singles player in a 1-3 effort in a tough field. A win over Concordia put him on the front side of the bracket so he got to battle it out with some #1 players to place 8th.
“Two of Jonny’s losses were by a total of four games so he was right in the thick of things,” said Kahmeyer. “He very nearly beat Abilene and Smoky Valley players and should hold his head high. He had a better day than his record might indicate.”
Shivam Bhakta and Trae Foreman also gained valuable experience in going 2-2 for 7th place in doubles.
“The boys played very well in a deep field. They had some trouble closing out a few close matches, but battled every inch of the way. A few more breaks and they could’ve reached as high as 4th or 5th place,” Kahmeyer said.
The varsity netters take ten days off now, returning to the courts Friday April 12 at Russell.