"Saturday was tough to watch McPherson tennis."

SALINA — The McPherson High School tennis team struggled to a 12th place finish in the Salina Central Invitational on Saturday, uncharacteristically losing three out of four first round matches. Saint James Academy finished in first place with 117 points while the host school's maroon team finished in second with 102.

Maisie Edmonson went 4-1 on the day to finish in 17th place in singles play. Daphane Carrillo, Mac's other singles entry, retired down 0-1 with an injured shoulder. The doubles team of Rachel Carlson and Ashley Achilles finished in 16th place with Taylor Bruce and CeAnna Allen finishing in 17th.

"Saturday was tough to watch McPherson tennis as we just were not ready to play and played nowhere near our potential," said McPherson Head Coach Tyler Brown. "But I'm glad if we were going to have a tournament like this it was better to have it now than down the stretch when losing first round means your season is over.  We lost three of our four first round matches which means in a big tournament like this the best you could do from that point is 17th. I honestly can not remember this happening in the past several years. If we won our first match we didn't win another match or we ended up injured.  Hopefully we can learn from this and learn how to control our emotions and learn to play a little more free at the beginning and in big matches of tournaments. I saw this at Hesston from us to start the year but with such a young team we are just letting our nerves get the best of us. That is one thing you really can not coach.  Experience and playing more is what will hopefully cure this."

The Bullpups are back in action Saturday at the Smoky Valley tournament, with action getting underway at 9 a.m. at Smoky Valley High School.

Contact Matt Cole by email at mcole@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel.