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Weather part of woes at State tennis

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

EMPORIA -- The three entrants from Fort Scott High School were unable to win a match at the Class 4A State Tennis Tournament. But Head Coach Lynn Barr says that in no way diminishes what the Tigers accomplished this season.

"These girls have nothing to feel bad about and should be very proud of all that they accomplished this season," he said. "It was one of the best seasons in recent history for our girls' program and these young ladies were very instrumental in that success."

The tournament got underway on Friday but was suspended due to thunderstorms. Officials didn't feel that the weather would improve Saturday, so play didn't resume until Sunday. The finals were held Monday.

"The State Tournament is always a challenge and this year was no exception," Barr said. "The conditions were much better on Sunday, over 20 degrees warmer, but still very windy. But this tournament just didn't have the same flow as other State Tournaments have."

Seniors Michelle Buntain and Corina Harrison (20-8) lost in the first round of doubles on Friday to Wellington's Kelsey Whaley and Paeyton Adams, 6-1, 6-3. Sunday, they were eliminated by McPherson's Camry Holle and Emily Ediger.

"Corina and Michelle have had a great high school career," Barr said. "They have developed into the kind of doubles team that I expected them to when they began playing together as sophomores. They have been great leaders and will be missed next year."

Juniors Courtney Crain and Kenna Savage (12-6) lost in the first round of doubles to Pratt's Lauren McClain and Dani Williams, 6-0, 6-2. The Pratt due went on to finish 10th. Sunday, Whaley and Adams, who lost to a Buhler team following their win over Buntain and Harrison, knocked Crain and Savage out of the tournament.

"Courtney and Kenna are continuing to improve and have had a great season and we will be expecting big things out of them next year," Barr said. "They have the potential to be a very strong doubles team for us next year."

Freshman Jennifer Harrison (17-7) lost to Larned's Jessica Johnson in the first round of singles, 6-0, 6-3. She was eliminated by Topeka Hayden's Paige Hunter on Sunday.

"She struggled in the first set (Friday), but then got more comfortable in the second set and started playing the kind of tennis we are used to seeing from her," Barr said. "In her match Sunday evening, she faced a senior from Topeka Hayden with previous State Tournament experience and it showed. Jennifer played pretty well at times and then at times seemed tentative and uncertain about what she wanted to do with the ball."

Wichita Collegiate won its fourth straight State Tennis team title -- winning Class 3-2-1A in 2009 and 2010 and Class 4A last season -- with 68 team points. The Spartans finished first and fourth in singles and took the top two spots in doubles. Independence finished second with 33 points followed by Topeka Hayden with 26.

Collegiate junior Brooke Withrow (32-0) defended her singles championship with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Independence's Abbi Groff (32-7) in the final. Withrow is 64-3 in the last two seasons. Paige Williams of DeSoto took third with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Collegiate's Jaya Mantovani in the third-place match.

Morgan Bergan and Hannah Osland (15-1) defeated Collegiate teammates Keli Dunn and Lindsay Funke (13-3) for the doubles title, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. Dunn and Funke finished third last season and in Class 3-2-1A in 2009 and were State champs in 3-2-1A in 2010.

Southeast Kansas League doubles placers were both from Independence Kelsey Porter and Tyra Welch were fifth in doubles while Erin Wesselowski and Dee Mendoza finished 12th. Malina Kipp of Parsons earned the SEK's other singles medal with a 12th-place finish.

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