ABILENE, Kan.—Abilene High School and Chapman High School renewed their Dickinson County rivalry on the tennis courts Tuesday afternoon in Abilene. The Lady Irish won the rivalry showdown via a head-to-head match in the Abilene Invitational tennis tournament which allowed the Lady Irish to earn the tie-breaker and give them the edge in the team standings for the championship.
The two teams were competing in the final regular season showdown on the tennis courts and tied with 54 points each in the 7-team Abilene Invitational.
"I feel pretty confident," Abilene coach Justin Amos said of how his team is stacking up at this point of the season. "I think we are playing mostly our best tennis at the right time of the year. I feel like our doubles teams are playing more confident and our singles players are playing the best tennis they have all year. … Ultimately I feel good about our team."
Ellsworth finished in third place, team wise, with 44 points, while Hillsboro finished fourth with 40, Wamego was fifth with 38, Clay Center was sixth with 30 points, Abilene’s junior varsity squad finished seventh with 30 points while Alma finished in eight place with 28 points.
Ellsworth finished with the most individual champions as the Lady Bearcats had two individual championships. The Lady Bearcats’ Rachel Herzog topped Hillsboro’s Allison Weber 6-3 in the No. 1 singles championship match while Ellsworth’s tandem of Callie Cunningham and Alyssa Lamb teammed up to defeat Chapman’s Jessie Heiman and Kate Fink 6-1 in the No. 2 doubles championship match.
Chapman’s Sutter won the No. 2 singles championship while Wamego’s tandem of Rikki Alderson and Haylee Page topped Chapman’s Morgan Potter and Laura Thurlow 6-4 in the No. 1 doubles championship match.
"Overall I think we played real well," Amos said. "We have two squads here. We have a varsity and a junior varsity team here and the JV squad has picked up some big wins. The varsity squad, every member is playing for a place, so overall I think we played real well."
The teams now have just a few days before postseason begins as the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s regional tournaments are scheduled to be played this Friday and Saturday.
"It is kind of a double-edged sword," Amos said of the short turn around before regionals. "It is nice in one way because we get a nice tune-up day in, but it is also stressful because a lot of these teams are also in our regional so a loss to them can affect our seeding in the regional. It has its pros and cons but ultimately it is a good thing and we are happy to have this right before."