HESSTON — The Hesston Invitational Tennis Tournament on Thursday had a state-tournament-like feel even though it was just the season opener.
You had several ranked teams or teams that could be ranked at some point in the season on hand.
As McPherson High coach Tyler Brown said before the tournament, there was a lot of parity and the outcome probably would come down to which team played the best on that particular day.
And on this day it was the host Swathers.
Hesston, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, won both doubles divisions and that was the impetus to a 27-23 victory over No. 2-ranked (Class 4A) MHS, with Buhler and Maize South tying for third with 17.
The rest of the order included Smoky Valley (13), Abilene (12), Trinity Academy (5) and Haven (0).
“Overall I was very pleased with the team as a whole,” Brown said. “But it is good to get the first meet out of our system because we played nervous today. We let our youth and inexperience get the best of us at times. I look to see a dramatic improvement as the season moves along though. The positive though was even though we seem to doubt our very own ability and talent, we were able to get everyone to the semifinals and compete with the best of what this tournament had to offer.”
The Bullpups were led by Maisie Edmonson, who went 3-0 to win the No. 1 singles division, winning 8-5 in the finals against Halle Krehbiel of Hesston.
Also for the Bullpups, Rachel Carlson and CeAnna Allen went 2-1 to take second at No. 2 doubles. Carlson placed in state in singles last year, while Allen is an impact freshman.
2016 state doubles placer Taylor Bruce and new partner Ashley Achilles were 2-1 for third at No. 1 doubles and Daphne Carrillo was 1-2 for fourth at No. 2 singles.
Hesston’s No. 1 doubles team of Makaiya Russell and Ashley Hubbard took first, as did the No. 2 team of Kylie Martin and Megan Martin. MacKenzie Unruh added a third in No. 2 singles for the Swathers.
The highlight for Smoky Valley was Kira Haxton snaring the No. 2 singles title.
McPherson High will be hosting an invitational on Thursday.