LINDSBORG — It was a three team race in Thursday’s Smoky Valley Tennis Classic, with host school Smoky Valley High finishing in third place with 42 points, just two points behind second-place Hesston and three points behind tournament champions Abilene.
Despite not having an entry compete for a championship in the singles or doubles draw, the Vikings were able to get solid contribution from their entire lineup to compete for the tournament championship. Fourth-place Central Plains was well behind the pack with 31 points.
Each Smoky Valley entry won its opening round match, and everyone placed within the top six to make the Vikings competitive.
The Vikings were headlined by Kira Haxton’s third-place finish. Haxton won her first two matches by a score of 8-1, then rebounded from a semifinal loss with an 8-4 win in the third place match.
Sophie Smith was also big in singles, going 3-1 for fifth place. Smith won her first match 8-1, before running into trouble in her next match. Smith finished the day with back-to-back wins, including a grueling 8-6 win over Hesston’s Michaela Martin for fifth place.
It was a pair of identical days for the Smoky Valley doubles teams. Isabelle Wright and Morgan Bowles won their first match before losing in the quarterfinals; the same can be said for the doubles team of Anneka Peterson and Lana Clark. Both pairs rebounded with a win, which set up an all-Smoky Valley match for fifth place, won 8-4 by Peterson and Clark.
Abilene won the tournament thanks to a first-place doubles team and a second-place singles entry.
Hesston was second, and the Vikings will see Hesston again on Saturday at the second Hesston Invitational of the season.
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