TOPEKA—After a semifinal loss to eventual champion Pietro Perego of Seaman in Saturday's Class 5A state tennis tournament, you might think that McPherson senior singles standout Jarrod Nowak may have needed a break.
But just a few minutes after that 6-2, 6-2 loss, Nowak informed tournament officials at Kossover Tennis Center that he was ready to return to the court.
"I just wanted to play again,'' Nowak said.
And although third place certainly wasn't what the four-time state medalist was looking for, it gave him an opportunity to end his high school career on a high note, with Nowak rolling to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Arkansas City senior Pierce Klaassen.
"It's good,'' Nowak said. "I'd like the win, but third place is OK.''
Nowak, second in 2018, saw his chances for a championship slip away in the semifinals, with Perego preventing him getting anything going on a consistent basis.
"He was hitting a big ball and the ball was kicking up,'' Nowak said. "He just was in better position that me the whole match and I didn't get to where I needed to go.''
While disappointed that he couldn't win the championship, Nowak said he will be proud of what he accomplished in high school.
"I'm happy,'' he said. "I would have liked the one, but it's alright.''
Perego went on to win the title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over St. James Academy senior Adam Burke.
Valley Center seniors Hayden Brauer and Colby Swift won the state doubles championship with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Salina Central sophomores Reed McHenry and Max Shaffer.
Salina Central won the team title by a 40-28 margin over Maize South, with St. James Academy third with 25 points.
Salina Central 40, Maize South 28, St. James Academy 25, Maize 23, Arkansas City 19, Andover 18, Seaman 17, Valley Center 15, McPherson 13, Carroll 11, Emporia 11, Aquinas 8, Andover 6, Eisenhower 5, Pittsburg 4, Andover Central 2, Blue Valley Southwest 2, Spring Hill 1, Topeka West 1.
Championship — Perego, Seaman, def. Burke, St. James Academy, 6-1, 6-4.
Third — Nowak, McPherson, def. Klaassen, Arkansas City, 6-1, 6-4.
Fifth — Richardson, Andover, def. Tredway, Maize South, 9-0.
Seventh — Phelps, Salina Central, def. Connor, Aquinas, 9-2.
Ninth — Steven, Carroll, def. Landenberger, Wichita Northwest, 9-3.
11th — Beatty, Salina Central, def. Murrell, Maize, 9-4.
Championship — Brauer/Swift, Valley Center, def. McHenry/Shaffer, Salina Central, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Third — Schreiner/Ohnmeis, Maize, def. Stack/Green, Salina Central, 6-2, 6-3.
Fifth — C. Kienholz/Moorman, Emporia, def. Garrison Wright/Grayson Wright, Maize South, 9-4.
Seventh — Niesen/Donaldson, St. James Academy, def. Jewett/Spurgeon, Maize South, 9-6.
Ninth — Shanks/Jones, Andover, def. McGee/Hoag, Arkansas City, 9-7.
11th — Watson/Hopper, Eisenhower, def. Kratzer/Rogers, Maize, 9-4.