Even with court temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, the Greenback girls’ tennis team kicked the season off with a promising start at the Lyons Quad on Thursday, August 29.

Even with court temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, the Greenback girls’ tennis team kicked the season off with a promising start at the Lyons Quad on Thursday, August 29.
After battling a strong Chaparral team, along with Lyons and Great Bend, the Greenbacks come home with a team championship for the fourth consecutive year.
It wasn’t an easy win and took the best effort from each girl. The Greenbacks earned 15 team points to Chaparral’s 14, Lyons’ 7 and Great Bend’s 0.
Of the team effort Coach Larry Kahmeyer said, “As the tournament was wrapping up, I knew we were close with Chaparral and none of our girls could lose their final round matches. I was thrilled when they swept Lyons to wrap things up. It took every possible win from every girl – change one win to a loss and Pratt comes in second – and we were all thrilled with the outcome.”
Setting the winning pace were the doubles teams of Lauren McClain and Jade Hoover along with Allicia Hall and Elee Hampton.
Playing together for the first time, McClain and Hoover weren’t seriously challenged at the #1 doubles spot. Opening with two 6-0 wins over Great Bend and Lyons, the pair jumped out to 4-1 lead over Chaparral.  The Road Runners charged back to 3-4 only to see Pratt regroup to close things out for a 6-3 win.
“Today was an experiment to see if Lauren and Jade could work together as a doubles team and they proved they can. For a first-time pairing they looked promising. Both girls are strong in the backcourt. Lauren worked a lot on volleys during the summer and Jade is coming along. If we can match their net play with their groundstrokes they can be a dangerous team!” enthused Kahmeyer.
Following that lead, the #2 team of Hall and Hampton found some tougher competition, but still ended the day 3-0. Getting the best of some Great Bend newcomers with a 6-0 win, the girls took to the courts with a talented Lyons team. Finding themselves down 1-4, things looked bleak, but Lyons let up some and the Pratt pair dug in to tie things at 5-all, then went ahead 6-5 and closed out the win with a 7-5 comeback. Hall and Hampton had an easier time with Chaparral and ended the day with a 6-1 win.
“I was watching the Lyons match and, thinking the outcome was decided, left to go check on the singles players. Then I started getting text messages that the girls were coming back.  Then I got a text that said they’d won 7-5, I was thrilled! Take that win away and we are in second place,” said Kahmeyer.
At the singles spots, two new faces joined the varsity Greenback roster: juniors Ellie Brehm and Madi Mayberry. Dealing well with the increased pressure, both girls managed a 2-1 day for second place medals.
Playing #1 singles, Brehm defeated Great Bend 6-4, lost to Chaparral 0-6, then closed out with a gutty 6-3 win over Lyons.
“It’s a big jump from JV to #1 varsity singles and Ellie handled it well,” said Kahmeyer. “Ellie has worked hard to get better and with some improvement in consistency, I think she can be a contender. She hits and moves well and the improvements will come. I was pleased with how she handled the added pressure of playing varsity.”
Mayberry followed Brehm’s pattern with a 6-1 win over Great Bend, a 1-6 loss to Chaparral and a 6-3 win over Lyons.
“Like Ellie, this was Madi’s first varsity experience and she handled it well,” said Kahmeyer. “If she was nervous, she hid it well and came away with some valuable experience and wins for us. I wasn’t sure how her final match against Lyons would go, but she focused and closed out with a critical win.”
The Greenbacks next action is the Hillsboro Invitational at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3 where they will face a tough field including Collegiate and Hesston.