SALINA — McPherson High girls tennis coach Tyler Brown is like a scientist in a lab.
Since it’s still early in the season, Brown is experimenting with his No. 1-ranked Bullpup team. On Saturday, he tried a different lineup and the result was a championship in the Salina Central Invitational.
Brown went with a power doubles lineup. Defending Class 4A champions Emily Ediger and Camry Holle (4-1) wound up taking second place, with last year’s 4A singles runner-up Ellea Ediger and singles state medalist Katlyn Reifschneider also playing doubles for the first time, taking third (4-1).
The Bullpup teams actually had to play each other in the semifinals, with Emily Ediger and Holle coming away with an 8-5 decision. They pushed Arkansas City’s top-notch team of Ally Burr and McKenna Gonzales in the finals, coming up just short in an 8-6 loss. Burr and Gonzales were the Class 5A runner-up last year.
The Bullpups wound up scoring a whopping 64 points in doubles and finished the day with 109 to outdistance host Salina Central, which scored 101.
There were 16 teams in the field, which consisted mostly of 6A and 5A schools. Maize South (93) was third, while rounding out the Top 5 were Arkansas City (88) and Newton (63). Arkansas City did not have a No. 2 singles entry or it would have made a run at the Bullpups for the top spot.
In singles, Rachel Ivers (3-2) and Riley Burghart (3-2) were seventh and 11th, respectively, for the Bullpups.