For McPherson High, there was no “I” in team.
The Bullpups did not crown a single champion here Monday in the rain-delayed Class 4A Regional Tennis Tournament, but their consistency netted them the team title, with all six players earning a trip to state.
MHS scored 16 points to outlast Hesston, which scored 12. Other totals were Chapman (9), Buhler (8), Smoky Valley (7), Abilene (5) and Circle (1). Clay Center, Concordia and El Dorado did not score.
“It definitely feels good to have all six going,” first-year MHS coach Tyler Brown said. “That was one of our main goals. Last year we had all six girls qualify for state, and with a few newcomers stepping up, it’s good to see everyone make it.”
The Bullpups’ top finish came from the doubles team of Camry Holle and Emily Ediger, who lost 6-3, 6-4 in the finals to Buhler’s Vickie Dukart and Jessica Steffen. Holle and Ediger started up 3-0 in the first set, only lose six straight games, then trailed 5-2 in the second set before making a run at the end.
Also in doubles, Brooke Bate and Taylor Swartzendruber took fifth place. In the match to qualify for state, they lost in the first set to Smoky Valley’s Emma Anderson and Hannah Morrical before gutting out the last two sets by 7-5 counts. They also were pushed before winning their fifth-place match from Chapman’s Morgan Potter and Laura Thurlow, 7-6 (7-4) and 6-4.
In singles, MHS’ Allison Ivers and Katherine Geist took third and sixth place, respectively. Ivers defeated Chapman’s Rachel Sutter 6-2, 6-2 for third, while Geist defeated Circle’s Bailey Counterman 6-1, 6-4 in the match she needed to qualify before losing the fifth-place match to Chapman’s Shelbi Morris, 6-1, 6-1.
There was some excitement in the singles final when Smoky Valley’s Jessica Van Ranken took Hesston’s three-time state placer Ali Anderson to three sets, with Anderson winning the decider, 6-1. The two were meeting for the fourth time this year and it was the best Van Ranken had played against her this year.
The state meet is Friday and Saturday at Emporia