Gritty competition characterizes Jackson's regional experience, team take on the season.
The Pratt High School tennis team traveled to Wichita Collegiate last week for the KSHSAA Regionals, where they nearly qualified one of their players for state.
The #1 Doubles team Vanessa Leckner and Rachel Reichenberger lost their first regionals match, putting them out of competition for state, along with Bella Barker, Karsyn Sharp, and Graciela Garcia.
Junior Erin Jackson had a successful season, earning the #7 seed in the region.
“Erin went into the tournament with an 18-9 record,” head coach Tate Thompson said.
In order to move on to state, players had to place at least sixth at the tournament.
“It is difficult to place in the top 6 with two private schools involved,” said Thompson.
Jackson had a challenging start to her day against Wellington.
“Erin’s 1st round opponent from Wellington was a senior who is what we call a ‘pusher,’” Thompson said. “She defensively just pushes back every shot.”
This made for a marathon match that lasted 2 hours, winning 3-6, 7-5 (11-9) in the third set super tiebreaker.
“They gave her 15 minutes to rest before facing the #2 seed from Trinity Academy,” Thompson said. “Erin took her opponent to deuce every game, matching her shot for shot.”
She lost the first set at 2-6 and tied the 2nd set at 5-5 before losing 5-7.
“They once again gave her 15 minutes and she went out, exhausted after playing over 3.5 hours of tennis with 30 minutes of rest, losing to Winfield in her final match,” Thompson said.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Thompson was impressed by Jackson’s performance.
“She truly showed grit in her performance on Saturday and made us all proud to be Greenbacks,” said Thompson.
Next year, Jackson’s goal is to make it to state, as it was this year.
“She will certainly qualify for state next year as she improves each season and is driven by this goal,” Thompson said.
Even though Jackson didn’t meet her goal of making State, she had a great season. She ended with a 19-11 record.
“It was a fun year,” Jackson said. “I was excited to have a bigger team. I am very excited to see how the team how will improve next year because of the improvements they made this year.”