HESSTON — It’s now “game on” in Class 3-2-1A tennis after a surprising turn of events on Saturday.
Hesston High, the No. 1-ranked team in the class going into the regional meet, was surpassed by Central Plains and Sterling, while tying for third with Trinity Catholic as most of the ranked teams were lumped into one regional.
When you add in Sacred Heart having the class’ top singles player in Stratton Brown, it made for an incredible weekend of tennis.
Central Plains scored 16 points, Sterling 12, and Hesston and Trinity tied with 11. Brown’s seven points accounted for all of his team’s scoring. He defeated Central Plains’ high-caliber Michael Ryan in the finals without losing a game to show just how dominant he was as he’s now 28-0 on the season.
Hesston advanced both doubles teams and singles entry Daniel Holthus.
“To get three entries out of this regional and into the state tournament is a great accomplishment,” Hesston coach Mark Dahlsten said. “This was by far the toughest regional and I expect all the qualifiers from here will have a very good chance to do well at state. I am confident that our guys will compete well next week.”
The Swathers’ bread-and-butter doubles team of Grant Dahlsten and Garrett Roth took first, but had to outlast Central Plains’ top-notch team of Brady Rugan and Devin Ryan 6-4, 6-4 in the finals. They are now 24-4 on the year.
“Grant and Garrett make their third trip to state,” Mark Dahlsten said. “They played well today and were in control of each match. If they play like they have been, they will be a tough team to beat next week.”
The other Swather entries took sixth. Kendrick Weaver and Jorge Morales were 2-2 in doubles and Holthus was sixth in singles by splitting four matches.
Holthus had to survive a tough match with Central Plains’ Paxton Hemmeke 7-5, 7-5 just to make state. Dahlsten said Holthus played his best tennis of the year, as the singles field was loaded.
Weaver and Morales struggled a bit early, but Dahlsten said they found their form as the day went on, though finishing sixth will not help them come seeding time.
Here are the qualifiers:
• SINGLES •
1. Stratton Brown, Sacred Heart, 28-0
2. Michael Ryan, Central Plains, 26-4
3. Victor Chang, Trinity, 20-7
4. Kyler Comley, Sterling, 23-6
5. William Weiner, Sterling, 24-7
6. Daniel Holthus, Hesston, 12-11
• DOUBLES •
1. Grant Dahlsten-Garrett Roth, Hesston, 24-4
2. Brady Rugan-Devin Ryan, Central Plains, 26-4
3. Dylan DeLuca-Jacob Harcrow, Trinity, 15-11
4. Max Fulbright-Edward Weiner, Sterling, 15-15
5. Kade Beck-Brett Liebl, Central Plains, 20-7
6. Kendrick Weaver-Jorge Morales, Hesston, 5-2