SALINA – The McPherson Middle School boys tennis team sent six Junior Pups to Salina on Thursday for the Salina Lakewood Invitational and came home with one silver and one bronze medal.

Kayden McVicker earned a silver medal for placing second in No.1 singles by going 2-1 for the day. McVicker rolled through his first two matches of the day to reach the championship match where he lost a close tiebreaker 6-5 (7-4).

According to Head Coach Ricardo Sanchez, “Kayden (McVicker) showed consistent play at the level he needs to in order to compete with top players in the area. I know he will learn a lot from today’s matches and then use it to keep improving."

At No.2 singles, Junior Pup Tucker Nelson finished fifth despite a 2-1 record for the day. Nelson lost a very lengthy tiebreaker, 6-5 (14-12) in his first match of the day but was able to brush off the tough loss and finish the day by winning out on the backside of the bracket.

“Tucker (Nelson) has been great at listening to what he needs to work on or do differently and applying it immediately, which will help him as he keeps improving,” Coach Sanchez said.

Having the roughest day for the Junior Pups was the number one doubles tandem of Alex Wheat and Joey Miller as they finished 1-2 for the day and in fourth place.

According to Coach Sanchez, “Alex (Wheat) and Joey (Miller) stepped up from playing number two doubles today and were hitting the ball really well all day. Their inexperience really showed in their semifinal match as they lost a close one to a duo from Hutchinson. Once the boys figure out how to keep the ball out of the middle of the doubles court, they will find a lot of success.”

The Junior Pups finished out the day with a third-place finish in number two doubles with the duo of Josh Wehrman and Reid Schuckman who finished the day 2-1.

“This was the first time Josh (Wehrman) and Reid (Schuckman) had ever played together, not even in practice, and the boys seemed to work very well together,” noted Coach Sanchez. “I loved the communication and positive energy between the two.”

The Middle School netters will now have 10 days of practice before they return to the court with a trip to Valley Center on Monday, April 15.

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