HUTCHINSON, Kan.—Salina Central’s Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris entered the league tournament Monday hoping to remain undefeated and earn a top seed at this weekend’s regional.
The doubles team managed to stay unbeaten, but that’s not all: Briggs, a senior, broke the school record for career wins. Her new mark of 128-10 eclipses the old record set by Amanda Morris, MacKenzie’s older sister.
The younger Morris, a junior, was happy for Briggs – and not just because the new record resulted from more victories for the pair.
“I just want to finish her senior year off good, on a positive note,” said MacKenzie Morris.
Briggs and Morris successfully defended their doubles title Monday in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League’s Division I tournament at Hutchinson. Maize earned the team championship with a score of 47.
Salina South edged Derby for second place, 33-32. Salina Central finished fourth with 28. Other schools at the tournament were Hutchinson (21), Newton (14) and Campus (9).
Maize produced the singles champion and doubles runner-up after securing four of the eight semifinal slots at the tournament.
Briggs and Morris took on Maize’s Paige Lungwitz and Jess Holman in the doubles final. The Salina Central duo placed third at last year’s Class 5A state tournament, while the Maize pair took ninth at Class 6A state. Briggs and Morris prevailed 6-3, 6-0 in Monday’s final and boosted their season record to 26-0.
They were pleased to face Maize’s top doubles team in their last league match. Briggs, who described Lungwitz as her best friend, plays on the same club basketball team as the Maize senior.
Morris said she wanted to cap the day in a good match against Lungwitz and Holman since they all get along well.
“It’s not awkward on the court,” she remarked.
Briggs added that the championship match was fun because she knew the Eagles would put up a fight.
“We’re not going to roll over, and they’re not going to roll over,” she said.
Like the doubles competition, the singles bracket featured a familiar face. Salina South junior Marisa Mitchell, who won the league title in 2011, lost to Maize junior Olivia Medaris 6-3, 6-4 in Monday’s finale.
Medaris – who transferred from Campus – topped her Maize teammate, junior Hannah Hills, in her semifinal match. The other Maize semifinalists were doubles players Sydney Shields and Audrey Stingo, both seniors.
Maize coach John Anderson credited the Eagles’ depth for their team title Monday. Maize will host its Class 6A regional tournament Saturday, Oct. 6.