GODDARD — McPherson High’s tennis team crawled out of an early hole to place fifth Saturday in the prestigious John Markham Spring Classic, which drew 16 schools — most of them Class 6A and 5A.
MHS lost three of four first-round matches, but battled back to score 79 points, to trail only Blue Valley West (141), Salina Central (134), Wichita Collegiate (92) and Wichita Independent (79).
Ryan and Peter Horton went 3-2 on the day to take fourth place in doubles, while the other Bullpup entrant, Dylan Stos and Luke Williams, placed 23rd by going 2-3.
In singles, Gallagher Martin-Chavez lost his first match, but won four in a row to take 17th. Kento Aizawa as 3-2 for 21st.
“With such a slow start to the tournament, with three of our four fields losing in the first round, I thought we bounced back fairly well to still take fifth as a team out of 16 very good schools,” MHS coach Tyler Brown said. “I felt like we could of finished a little higher maybe as high as third if we play to our potential. That is going to be the key this year, finding a way to play to our potential. Right now we just have to many inconsistencies as a team.”
Brown realizes he has a young team, but believes it will grow up in a hurry.
“With three of our six players playing varsity meets for the first time, along with even our veteran players, we just have to find a way to be consistent and finding a way to win matches we are supposed to and then once that starts to happen finding a way to get that win over the player or players that are supposedly ranked above us or a little better than us,” Brown said. “Tennis is such a mental sport, we have to grow in that area along with consistency and we will truly start to battle with some of the best teams in the state as a whole.”