LINDSBORG — Smoky Valley head coach John Bellah admits his team was nervous during its first tournament of the season Thursday afternoon at the Hesston Invitational.
“I can see some promise,” Bellah said.
The Vikings finished sixth out of eight teams in a stacked field that featured McPherson, Buhler, Hesston, Maize South, Wichita Collegiate, Trinity Academy, and Abilene.
Smoky Valley was led by its No. 1 doubles team of Rachel Yenni and Karik Elliott, who finished third with a 2-1 day. The duo picked up a big win over Hesston’s No. 1 doubles team, 8-6, for third place.
At No. 2 singles, Isabella Wright went 2-1 for fifth place. Wright lost to eventual champion Carley Malm of McPherson in the first round, but rebounded to win her final two matches of the day.
At No. 1 singles, Lena Rauchholz went 1-2 for sixth and lost to a pair of talented players in Aliyah Frederick of Buhler and Sonya Murphy of Wichita Collegiate.
Smoky Valley’s No. 2 doubles team of Elaina McMillan and Riley Ahlstedt went 0-3 for eighth. Bellah said before the season that he has tremendous depth and said after the tournament that his team is still searching for a No. 2 doubles duo.
The Vikings travel to Ellsworth on Sept. 3 in their next contest.
“The Ellsworth tournament is a bit weaker than this tournament, so hopefully we go in there and gain some confidence,” Bellah said.