Regional win earns McPherson girl's tennis the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week award, presented by the McPherson Sentinel.
LINDSBORG ---- It’s becoming a yearly ritual for the McPherson High School girls tennis team to qualify an entire team for state tennis. This season is no different, as a gutsy performance from Cheyann Williams and Ashley Achilles on the second day of regionals solidified a spot for all six Bullpups at the state tournament in Pratt this weekend.
Two singles and one doubles entry qualified for state on the first day for McPherson, but Williams and Achilles had to begin Saturday morning off with an elimination match -- win and you're off to state, lose and your season is over. The Bullpups duo confidently and comfortably won, 6-0, 6-1, and then went on to win a hard-fought win over Buhler, 7-5, 7-5, for fifth place and a No. 5 seed at state.
The Bullpups were the Smoky Valley Regional Champions, and the doubles team of Maisie Edmonson and Taylor Bruce won the regional championship, good for a No. 1 seed at state.
McPherson head coach Tyler Brown had two goals for his team heading into regionals: win regionals and qualify the entire team for state. The Bullpups did just that.
“With every girl playing to their potential we were able to meet both those goals,” Brown said. “Next Friday and Saturday in Pratt we will have to be at our very best knowing so many teams were able to get six girls in as well. Even though we have had our ups and downs we continue to meet our team goals and hopefully we can continue that in Pratt as well!”
Edmonson and Bruce were the undisputed best doubles team in the regional. The regional’s No. 1 seed, Edmonson and Bruce went 4-0 capped off by a 6-1, 6-0 win in the championship match.
In singles, CeAnna Allen and Rachel Carlson both started 2-0 before meeting up in the semifinals. In a three-set thriller, Allen prevailed 0-6, 6-2, 7-5. Allen, only a freshman, finished second, while Carlson, a state medalist from last year and a sophomore, finished third.
The state tournament is loaded this year with talented teams, but qualifying all six to state gives the Bullpups a shot to bring home hardware.
“It will need to be a true team effort if we are going to be able to compete with teams such as Collegiate, Andover Central, Ark City, Wellington, Independence, and Marysville,” Brown said.
Host-school Smoky Valley qualified Kira Haxton for state in singles. Haxton received a ninth-place medal at state a year ago.
The state tournament starts Friday morning at the Walter Blake Tennis Complex in Pratt.