INDEPENDENCE, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School tennis coach Lynn Barr had an opportunity to give several of his players different kinds of experience at the Independence Invitational here Thursday.
Medals were not awarded at this tournament, so Barr treated the round-robin tournament basically like four duals. He used one lineup for the first two rounds and another for the final two.
"This was a great opportunity to see some of our girls play both singles and doubles as we try to come up with our most effective line up," Barr said.
Kalia Dancy played the first two rounds at No. 1 singles, her first singles play on the varsity level this season. She lost to Czarina Ramos of Chanute, 8-2, and Amanda Carr of Iola, 5-8.
"She stroked the ball pretty well against a good player from Chanute and played a very good match against Iola, one she was very close to pulling out at the end," Barr noted.
Then Dancy played doubles matches with Michelle Buntain at No. 1's. They beat Shelby Trimble/Robyn Brumitt of Pittsburg, 8-2, and lost to Bayley Conner/Ashlee Carr of Independence, 8-1.
Buntain started out the day in No. 1 doubles with Taylor Bailey as her partner. They went 2-0 together, beating Jade Gardner/Jessica Tucker of Chanute, 8-6, and Hailie Wolf/McKinley Fort of Iola, 8-5.
" Michelle had a great day winning three of her four matches," Barr noted. "She is improving with each match and is going to be a good player for us.
"Taylor and Michelle came up with two wins in doubles, although a lapse in concentration did cause a little scare when Chanute came back from 0-5 to take a 6-5 lead before we pulled it back together and came back to close out the match. They are beginning to play some solid doubles at times, they just need to keep their play at a higher, more consistent level all the time and avoid those lapses that hurt them."
Bailey moved to No. 1 singles later in the day. She lost to Chaprill Stewart of Pittsburg, 8-3, and Brianna Hilger of Independence, 8-0.
Heather Hobbs started out at No. 2 singles and went 1-1. She lost to Madison Wendt of Chanute, 8-2, and defeated Jasmine Bannister of Iola, 8-5. Hannah Messer lost both her matches in No. 2 singles by 8-0 scores to Ashton Born of Pittsburg and Talor Smith of Independence.
Messer played No. 2 doubles with Ashlyn Baugher in the early matches. They lost to Melissa Churning/Jeanna Lawrence of Chanute, 8-5, and defeated Dannatte Newland/Nina Froggate of Iola, 8-4. Baugher paired up with Hobbs for the last two matches, an 8-2 loss to Pittsburg's Sammi Highfield/Anna Frasco and an 8-3 loss to Indy's Sammi Mayes/Aubrey Near.
"Ashlyn, Heather and Hannah all played some good tennis at times," Barr said. "They all play hard and give us a good effort in their matches. They just all need to keep working on improving their fundamentals and serving more consistently. All three of these girls have the potential to develop into solid players if they keep working at it."
Fort Scott hosts a junior varsity tournament at 1 p.m. Monday. Chanute, Coffeyville and Columbus are scheduled to attend. Tuesday, the Tiger varsity returns to Independence for another tournament.
"I'm proud of all of the girls and the effort they are giving and the improvement we have shown so far this season, both at the varsity and JV levels," Barr said. "We are improving and we just have to keep working and keep
trying to get better in the remaining weeks of the season."