It was a doubles delight here Saturday for McPherson High’s girls tennis team in the second of their two yearly invitationals.
The Bullpups dominated the doubles division, with Rachel Ivers and Ellea Ediger winning the title by defeating teammates Maisie Edmonson and Cassidy Corrigan 8-0 in the finals.
Ivers and Ediger, who recently knocked off Buhler’s defending 4A state champions Jessica Steffen and Kendra Nachtigal, are quickly making a name for themselves after spending the early part of the season playing singles.
“Our doubles looked really strong,” said MHS coach Tyler Brown, whose team hosts the league meet here on Monday. “Ellea and Rachel only lost one game the entire day, and Maisie and Cassidy beat an undefeated Garden City doubles team in the semifinals to get to see our other Bullpup team in the finals.”
The only game the Bullpup champs lost on the day came in an 8-1 rout of Derby’s Mackenzie Hughes and Isabella Smith, who were the No. 5 seed.
Edmonson and Corrigan had toppled Garden City’s Shai Cartmill and Sally Dinkel 8-6 in the semifinals to reach the title match.
Despite all the power the Bullpups flashed in doubles, Derby’s depth allowed it to prevail in the team race by a point over MHS, 65-64.
The rest of the field was tremendously balanced. Other scores were Campus (39), Great Bend (36), Hays (35), Garden City (35), Newton (34), Hutchinson (34), Salina South (33) and Liberal (7).
Shelby Gudenkauf and Heidi Myers played singles for the Bullpups, with Gudenkauf fourth and Myers 17th. Sophie Smith, playing unattached, was actually 10th and Ashley Achilles, also an extra, was 14th.
“Shelby played outstanding, knocking off a girl (Brooke Forinash) from Hays (No. 3 seed) that will be in our regional,” Brown said. “She (Gudenkauf) was seeded 6 overall. So anytime you finish above what you were seeded is always good. Even some girls that normally play JV got the opportunity to play some singles and they took full advantage of it. Sophie played extremely well as she took the No. 4 seed (Hutchinson’s Reagan Wessel) to 8-5 in her second match of the day and then almost came all the way through consolation, but lost a tough one in the consolation final to finish 10th. Ashely Achilles also did well finishing 14th.”
Great Bend’s Macy Moyers was the singles champion with an 8-2 victory over Derby’s Abby Sherrow, who had defeated Gudenkauf 8-2 in the semifinals.
Now it’s the week it all comes down to. In addition to MHS hosting the league meet on Monday, it plays Friday and Saturday in the regional hosted by Smoky Valley in Lindsborg. Other teams on hand include Abilene, Buhler, Chapman, Clay Center, Colby, Concordia, Hays and Nickerson.