McPherson High’s tennis team is one victory away from its entire team qualifying for the Class 4A State Tournament.
After the first day of regional play Friday at the MHS Tennis Complex, the Bullpups already have qualified both doubles teams and a singles entrant for state.
Ryan Horton and Peter Horton, the No. 1 seed, did not lose a game in either of their first two matches to advance to Saturday’s doubles semifinals. The action begins at 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Bullpups’ Dylan Stos and Luke Williams also triumphed twice to make the semis and they’ll go against the Smoky Valley team of Will Bochte and Trapper Bellah, who also have punched their state ticket.
MHS’ Kento Aizawa was the big story of the first day. Aizawa, who has played No. 2 singles all year, shocked the No. 2 seed Troy Treeweke of Circle 6-0, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals. He’ll play Marcel Rimrodt of Concordia in one semi while top-seed Gabe Johnson of Abilene plays Evan Schmidt of Buhler.
MHS’ Gallagher Martin-Chavez needs to win his first match Saturday to qualify for state. He lost to Schmidt in the quarters and will attempt to navigate his way through the consolation bracket. The top six advance.
All in all, not a bad day in the eyes of MHS coach Tyler Brown.
“It went pretty much according to plan,” said Brown, whose team is ranked No. 2 in Class 4A. “The big surprise was Kento. He beat the 2 seed (Treeweke) 0 and 3, which was a big surprise. That’s the best I’ve seen him look all year. He was patient, hit a big, heavy ball with topspin and jumped on Tony early.”
The tourney would be complete if Martin-Chavez knocks off Abilene’s Jacob Bevan in the first match, which would assure the entire Bullpup team heading to state.
“We like the matchup for Gallagher in the match to get in. The goal is still to get everyone in,” Brown said.