SALINA—Despite the cool and dreary feel to the weather, plus it was a reschedule of a League meet, but the McPherson Middle School girls tennis team still went to Salina on Thursday instead of Tuesday and closed out their 2018 season by coming home as Champions, holders of the Pioneer League Trophy!

As a team the Lady Pups battled through the double-elimination tournament to take the team championship, finishing ahead of second-place Salina South.

Individually, McPherson took first place in both the number two singles with Jana Bruce and the number four singles with Paige Stucky, while the duo’s of Taiya Young and Raina Schmidt in number three doubles, and Baylee Simmelink and Jordan Martens in number four doubles also scored first place medals.

“The girls had a great day in Salina and handled the cold well,” said Head Coach Ricardo Sanchez during his post-meet coach reflections. “Coming into the season I was not sure what to expect as I only had three returning eighth graders. I was pleasantly surprised when 14 seventh-grade girls decided to come out for tennis.”

“We had a great season by going undefeated in duals and then finishing with a team championship at the league tournament,” added Coach Sanchez. “I loved that the girls always had fun in practice and they wanted to get better. That was visible at the league tournament today as I could see so many of our players having fun while playing their matches. Have so much fun enable them to play relaxed and find success.”

About the tournament itself, Coach Sanchez continued saying, “Due to the double elimination format of the tournament, several of our players lost early on but were able to come back through the consolation bracket and get another shot at first place. Jana Bruce, and the team of Taiya Young and Raina Schmidt were all able to place first by beating the finalist twice in a row after working their way through the consolation bracket.”

Talking about the team itself, Coach Sanchez concluded his comments by adding, “Our three eighth graders were all able to medal after showing a lot of growth over the last year. All our players have so much room for growth and improvement, I’m excited to watch them these next several years. A lot of our success comes from several of our players participating in our community summer Mac Advantage tennis program, and it really gives our girls a head start to the season in the fall. Our parents are also a huge reason for our success, we always had great support, whether we were at home or away at a tournament. I know our players really enjoyed having our community’s support this season.”

MMS Girls Tennis Individual Results:

In Singles Play:

#1 – Lauren Rogers went 1-2 and took 4th place.

#2 – Jana Bruce went 4-1 and took 1st place.

#3 – Kinley Dietrich went 2-2 and took 2nd place.

#4 – Paige Stucky went 3-0 and took 1st place.

#4 – (extra player), Zoey Furgason went 1-2 and took 4th place.

In Doubles:

#1 – Riggs Kuhn/Kyndall Sandbo went 2-2 and took 2nd place.

#2 – Tyla Lang/Loghan Englebrecht went 2-2 and took 2nd place.

#3 – Taiya Young/Raina Schmidt went 4-1 and took 1st place.

#4 – Baylee Simmelink/Jordan Martens went 3-0 and took 1st place.

#4 – (extra entry), Courtney Delaney/Jadin Nowell went 2-2 and took 2nd place.

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