WINFIELD — Smoky Valley’s tennis team earned a Top 10 team placing on Saturday at the Class 4A State Tournament, led by a strong doubles performance.
The Vikes’ Katie Bellah and Emily Roets traveled a long road back to take fifth place in doubles. Bellah and Roets had lost in the second round to Independence’s Alex Keller and Anna Miller, but roared back with five straight wins, the last one coming against that same Independence team that had sent them into the consolation bracket.
That helped the Vikings to 12 points, which gave them 10th place.
Bellah and Roets are both juniors, so they could make a real run at a state title next year. Champions Hannah Osland and Allie Lindwall of Wichita Collegiate are seniors. The runner-up, McPherson’s Ellea Ediger and Rachel Ivers, are juniors, while the third-place team from Winfield, Jenna Groene and Mallory Meier, are both done. The fourth-place team was Buhler senior Jessica Steffen and her junior teammate Kendra Nachtigal.
The Vikings also qualified senior Ally Karber and freshman Kira Haxton in singles, but neither placed. For Haxton, it was good experience for next season.