It was only appropriate after a dominating regular season that McPherson Middle School’s girls tennis team would dominate the Pioneer League Tournament here Monday.
There were four singles and four doubles divisions and the Bullpups easily won the team title, with Salina South second and Hutchinson rounding out the Top 3.
MHS had finalists in three of the four singles divisions, while all four doubles teams were successful as they were champions.
“The girls played outstanding today,” MMS coach Ricardo Sanchez said. “At the beginning of the day I know they had the team goal in mind. Throughout the day they showed that this was on their mind as they spent any time they could cheering on their teammates. The wind was as challenging as it has been all year and I know it took some getting used to. As these players keep developing in the future, they will have to learn to play with the wind as we live in Kansas.”
Sanchez his highlight was near and dear to his heart.
The highlight of the day — maybe I am biased as Patty (Huerta) is my sister — was when all of the matches were finished except for the No. 1 doubles championship, which had just gone into a tiebreaker. This was a rematch of Perrin (Schneider) and Patty's only loss on the year. The match had well over 50 spectators lining the stands and watching through the fences. Patty and Perrin stayed so composed during the end of the match that it seemed like they didn't even notice all of the people watching and cheering.”
This was a special group for Sanchez, though looking ahead he has some rebuilding to do.
“I should have three girls back for next year from this team, but my 11 eighth-graders will move on to the high school,” he said. “Throughout their two years they went undefeated in duals (14-0 record) and capped of their middle school years with a Pioneer League team championship.”
He said the Bullpups’ summer program has been a big help.
“A huge advantage that these girls have had is our local Mac Advantage Tennis Club,” he said. “Participation in the summer programs has been a huge boost to our success. Our family support has also been outstanding and I know the girls have really appreciated it. This wraps up a very successful season, I am still amazed every time I look at the records of our players. Although I won't get to coach the eighth-graders anymore during a school season, I will continue to support and cheer them on. I am excited for their future in tennis.”
• Singles •
#1-Carley Malm: Runner-up (14-3 singles record for the season)
#2-Sydney Achilles: Champion (14-2 singles record for the season)
#3-Amethyst Hale: Runner-up ( 14-2 singles record for the season)
#4-Kinley Dietrich: 4th place (3-3 singles record for the season)
• Doubles •
#1-Patty Huerta/Perrin Schneider: Champions (12-1 doubles record together for the season plus beat the team that gave them their only loss in the championship match)
#2-Maddie Dobson/Taylor Berger: Champions (12-1 doubles record together for the season)
#3-Lakynn Lippelmann/Taylor Buehrle: Champions (14-0 doubles record together for the season)
#4-Grace Witte/Emma Wilson: Champions (6-0 doubles record together for the season)