The McPherson High School girls tennis team will head to regionals with momentum after finishing second at the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division III/IV Tournament on Monday.
The Bullpups had finished first at every tournament this season until league, but second place behind the No. 1 team in 4A should not be a discouraging sign.
McPherson’s No. 1 doubles team of Taylor Bruce and CeAnna Allen are now 27-0 on the season after winning the league title. The duo defeated Wichita Collegiate’s No. 1 doubles team in the championship.
Rachel Carlson went three sets in all three of her matches at No. 2 singles, finishing 2-1 for second. At No. 2 doubles, Patty Huerta and Maddie Dobson went 2-1 for third.
At No. 1 singles, Perrin Schneider battled all day for a fourth-place finish. McPherson head coach Tyler Brown says Schneider is playing her best tennis of the season.
The Bullpups scored 55 points as a team for second place. Collegiate won league with 64 points. Circle was a distant third with 39 points.
“I thought we had tremendous fight today, but Wichita Collegiate gave us our first team loss in a tournament and showed why they are number one in 4A,” Brown said. “They just played better as a whole than we did.”
McPherson heads to Salina Central this weekend for regionals. The Bullpups will look to qualify their entire team and take a run at state next week.
Bontrager finishing strong for Elyria tennis
Elyria Christian School’s lone competitor, senior Shelby Bontrager, is finishing up a busy regular season before regional tennis on Friday.
In her past three tournaments, Bontrager went third, third, and seventh in singles. Most recently, Bontrager finished seventh out of 19 participants at a deep Doug Gayer Classic in McPherson.
“Shelby has worked so hard throughout this season and to finish strong is just very rewarding for her and exactly what she needs to compete at regionals,” Elyria head coach Jim Bontrager said. “Two-thirds of our scheduled tournaments are in the final two weeks before regionals. That girl has had a very busy couple weeks and it'll be nice to have four days in a row to prepare for regionals.”
Bontrager will take a 17-14 record into regionals on Friday and Saturday. Elyria heads to Hillsboro for regionals. The top six finalists advance to the state tournament.