SALINA — On Saturday in Salina, five of the best girls tennis teams in the state participated in a unique event which showcased depth.
McPherson, Buhler, Salina South, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, and Maize South each sent 10 athletes to Salina to participate in four duals.
Each team entered four singles and three doubles teams, and in a format similar to college tennis, the schools matched up and played duals instead of a traditional tournament format.
The competition featured the defending 5A state champions Kapaun, 5A state runner-up Salina South, a fifth-place 5A finisher in McPherson, 4A state runner-up Buhler and a formidable Maize South team.
McPherson went 4-0 in duals to capture the team title. The Bullpups were challenged throughout the day, defeating Kapaun and Salina South by 4-3 margins.
Against Kapuan, McPherson lost No. 1 and No. 2 singles, but Kyndall Sandbo and Kinley Dietrich each won No. 3 and No. 4 singles to tie the match at two entering doubles.
McPherson won two of three doubles matches — CeAnna Allen and Perrin Schneider won at No. 1 and Lakynn Lippelmann and Amethyst Hale won at No. 3 — to win the dual.
Against Salina South, it was Patty Huerta and Riggs Kuhn at No. 1 and No. 2 singles who came away with wins, while Taylor Berger and Sydney Achilles won at No. 2 doubles. The Bullpups lost three singles, four singles and one doubles, but Lippelmann and Hale won their match at No. 3 doubles, 8-7 (0) to secure the dual.
McPherson defeated Maize South 6-1 and Buhler 5-2 to complete a 4-0 day.
"Today we saw the depth of the McPherson Bullpup tennis program," McPherson coach Tyler Brown said. "In a format that we have never played in, it was fun to mix it up and be able to dual with every team."
Buhler also won a pair of 4-3 duals.
The Crusaders defeated Salina South by winning all three doubles matches. Alex Hutton won her match at No. 1 singles, 8-7 (4), to clinch the dual.
The Crusaders also defeated Maize South 4-3. Hutton took care of business at one singles, while Teagen Nickel won her match at No. 3 singles.
Buhler won two of three doubles matches to secure the dual.
Buhler also defeated Kapaun, 5-2.
McPherson went 4-0 for first, Buhler went 3-1 for second, South went 2-2 for third, Kapaun went 1-3 for fourth and Maize South went winless.
McPherson is next in action on Sept. 12 at Salina Central. Buhler has two varsity matches scheduled for Sept. 10 — one at Circle and the other at Hutchinson Trinity.