HESSTON — The McPherson High School girls tennis team is going to heavily rely on the efforts of senior Maisie Edmonson this season.
The Bullpups lost three talented seniors from a season ago, including the doubles state championship team of Ellea Ediger and Rachel Ivers. The cabinet is not empty, however, as three state medalists return to the varsity squad this year.
Edmonson, who finished seventh in singles at state a year ago, led the Bullpups to a second-place finish at the Hesston Invitational on Thursday. Edmonson went 3-0 in the No. 1 singles draw, including a hard-fought 8-5 win over Hesston’s Hallie Krehbiel in the championship match. McPherson scored 23 points as a team, which was second to only Hesston’s 27 points.
“Overall, I was very pleased with the team as a whole,” head coach Tyler Brown said. “But it is good to get the first meet out of our system because we played nervous today. We let our youth and inexperience get the best of us at times.”
The Bullpups won all four of their opening round matchups, sending both singles and doubles entries in to the semifinals. The No. 2 doubles team of Rachel Carlson and CeAnna Allen made the championship match, but lost 8-4 to Hesston in the finals.
The No. 1 doubles team of Taylor Bruce and Ashley Achilles were able to rebound from a semifinal loss to capture third. Carlson, in singles, and Bruce, in doubles, are returning state medalists and will be looked upon to lead the team along side Edmonson.
At No. 2 singles, Daphne Carrillo took fourth place to round out the order. Carrillo and Achilles are both upperclassmen who had high success in junior varsity last season, while Allen is making her varsity debut as a freshman.
While the Bullpups are a little inexperienced, Brown expects his team to only get better from here.
“I look to see a dramatic improvement as the season moves along,” Brown said. “The positive was even though we seem to doubt our very own ability/talent, we were able to get everyone to the semifinals and compete with the best of what this tournament had to offer.”
The Bullpups are back in action next Thursday when they host their first invitational of the season.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel.