HESSTON — The Hesston girls tennis team opened its season in tremendous fashion on Thursday, outlasting Class 4A powers McPherson High and Buhler to win the team title.
The Swathers, winning two of the four divisions and having entrants in the finals of each, scored 28 points while the Bullpups, the preseason No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A, were second with 24. Buhler, ranked third in 4A, was third with 18 points and Smoky Valley rounded out the upper half with 16.
Other team totals were Maize South (11), Wichita Trinity Academy (7), Abilene (6) and Haven (3).
The surprise of the day came at No. 1 singles where Hesston’s Morgan Holopirek knocked off top-seed Ellea Ediger of McPherson 8-6 in the finals. Ediger was fifth in Class 4A last year and second as a freshman. Holopirek, who had to default out of the 3A State Tournament last year after coming down with pneumonia, had never beaten Ediger dating back to their middle school days.
The Swathers’ No. 2 doubles team of Kaitlyn Schrock and Abigail Decker also triumphed, while Hesston was second in two other divisions.
McPherson High was led by Rachel Ivers, who breezed to the No. 2 singles championship. She blanked Hesston’s Tessa Isaac 8-0 in the finals, though she did receive a push from Maize South’s Alayna Macias 8-5 in the semifinals.
The Bullpups’ No. 2 doubles team of Shelby Gudenkauf and Heidi Myers went 2-1 for second place, while the No. 1 team of Cassidy Corrigan and Maisie Edmonson was 1-2 for fourth. Buhler’s returning state championship doubles team of Kendra Nachtigal and Jessica Steffen won the No. 1 doubles title.
MHS’ Sophie Smith competed as an extra player at No. 2 singles and wound up going 2-1 for fifth place.
Smoky Valley’s Katie Bellah and Emily Roets were third at No. 1 doubles. The Vikes also received a third from the No. 2 team of Jade Soukup and Katie Klaassen.