"Nolan and Kaden played singles for the first time and did well."
Using a lineup they had not gone with this year, the McPherson High School tennis team finished fourth in the Salina South Invite Thursday afternoon. Six points were all the separated the top four teams, as Andover finished first with 46 points, followed by Manhattan with 44, Valley Center with 41 and McPherson with 40.
Nolan Schrader was top dog for the Bullpups finishing in second place in singles play. He was 3-1 on the afternoon, losing in the championship match to Andover's Jadyn Richardson. Also going 3-1 and finishing in fifth place was Mac's Kaden Stewart, who also fell to Richardson, in the second round.
"Nolan and Kaden played singles for the first time and did well," said McPherson head coach Tyler Brown. "They just happened to run into Richardson on a really good day."
The Bullpups doubles teams did not fair so well as Jackson Schrader and Rhett Edmonson were 1-3, finishing in eight place. The other doubles team of Thomas Smith and Trey Hett finished in 16th, going without a win for the tournament.
"Somehow we just need the mindset that no matter how good they think a team or player is they need to convince themselves they belong on the court as well," Brown said. "If there was one thing we need to get better at it's confidence and knowing no matter what I am going to find a way to win. We have the physical attributes, we just need to be stronger mentally."
The Bullpups will get a day of rest before traveling down to Wichita-Collegiate on Saturday for their Tournament of Champions, where they will compete with 15 of the best tennis teams in Kansas. Matches get underway at 8 a.m.