PARSONS, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School's varsity tennis team opened its season here Thursday with a five-team round-robin tournament here.
Heather Hobbs went 1-3 for the Tigers in No. 1 singles. The victory came in her final match of the day, an 8-5 decision over Baya Abudu of Coffeyville.
Hobbs lost matches to Sarah Ong of Parsons and Katie Porter of Independence by 8-0 scores and to Chaprill Stewart of Pittsburg, 8-2. Independence and Parsons have been the two top programs in the Southeast Kansas League for many seasons.
Lauren Caulfield played No. 2 singles. She lost to Amy Show of Parsons, Jordan Hays of Independence and Ashton Born of Pittsburg by 8-0 scores and to Talor Smith of Coffeyville, 8-2.
"Heather has improved since last year and had a good showing in this
tournament," Fort Scott head coach Lynn Barr said. "She got frustrated in her match against Pittsburg after some confusion over the game count and just never recovered the rest of that match, but came back with a solid match against Coffeyville and got
our first varsity win of the season. Lauren gave a nice effort, but struggled with consistency in her matches today. Both girls have potential, but we must play more consistently in singles and do a better job of keeping the ball in play to improve our singles results."
Taylor Bailey and Michelle Buntain played No. 1 doubles for the Tigers. They lost to Kiralyn Miller/Adrienne Kutz of Parsons and Kelby McGrath/Morgan Baxter of Independence by 8-0 scores and to Regan Gilmore/Shelby Trimble of Pittsburg and Jordyn Barrett/Kaley Shockey of Coffeyville by 8-6 scores.
Kalia Dancy and Ashlyn Baugher were Fort Scott's No. 2 doubles team. They lost to Lindsay Ong/Bailey Riggin of Parsons and Sammi Mayes/Aubrey Near of Independence by shutout, Sammy Highfield/Anna Frasco of Pittsburg, 8-5, and Erin Holeman/Katie Honas of Coffeyville, 8-1.
"Taylor and Michelle played good at times in the two close losses to
Pittsburg and Coffeyville, but also made some mistakes that were costly," Barr noted. "In both matches we fell behind early and had to work hard to come back, instead of just getting off to a good start and trying to take control of the match from the beginning. This was Michelle's first ever varsity action and she did a good job. I feel good about both of these players, they just need to work hard and keep improving.
"Kalia and Ashlyn played some good tennis at times, especially against Pittsburg, but really struggled serving for much of the tournament. Both of these girls have
a lot of potential and should do much better as they eliminate some
errors and improve.
Independence is the defending Southeast Kansas League champion and one of the state's top programs while Parsons is usually another tough team in the SEK. The true measure of the day would be how the Tigers performed against Pittsburg and Coffeyville, which appeared to reveal promising results.
"It was good to get the varsity season started and give our varsity players a chance to see how they are playing against competition other than their teammates," Barr said. "This was important because we can't measure ourselves and our improvement just playing against ourselves. We need to learn to compete against other players and better players. The overall effort was good and we have made some progress since last year, but we must make more progress, just a little isn't going to help us."
The Tigers will return here Thursday at 3 p.m. for a tournament hosted by Labette County High School.