McPHERSON, Kan.—The McPherson High School Lady Bullpup tennis team hosted a Class 4A regional tournament that finished Monday, due to inclement weather on Saturday, and the Lady Bullpups made sure that they did not allow their competitors to feel very welcome in McPherson.
The Lady Bullpups were coming off a year in 2011 when they qualified all six of their varsity players for the Class 4A state tournament.
"We feel pretty good to get everybody back (qualified for state)," McPherson head coach Tyler Brown said. "Last year we had all six qualify and that was our goal this year was to get all six girls back to state and being able to do that is something special."
The Lady Bullpups won the team title with 16 points, Hesston finished second with 12 points and two state qualifiers. Chapman finished third with 9 points and three state qualifiers while Buhler finished fourth with 8 points and one state qualifier.
Smoky Valley finished fifth with 7 points and one state qualifier, Abilene was sixth with 5 points and one state qualifier, Towanda Circle was next with 1 point while Clay Center, Concordia and El Dorado did not score any points at the regional tournament.
For McPherson, Emily Ediger, who teammed up with Camry Holle to place second in doubles, and Katherine Geist, who placed sixth in singles, were the Bullpups’ two newcomers in 2012.
While Brown admitted that playing on their home courts was a small advantage for McPherson, he indicated that it still takes talent to qualify all four of entries into next week’s state tournament.
"Anytime you have home court advantage I think it helps," Brown said. "You have more fans that come out and you get kids, when they get a chance, to come out from the school and watch. It definitely plays a part, but you definitely still need to have the talent to get your whole team in. It plays an advantage but it is what it is."
Hesston’s Ali Anderson beat Smoky Valley’s Jessica Van Ranken6-2, 4-6, 6-1, to win the singles championship.
McPherson’s Allison Ivers beat Chapman’s Rachel Sutter 6-2, 6-2 in the singles 3rd-4th place match while Chapman’s Shelbi Mathis beat McPherson’s Katherine Geist 6-1, 6-1 to win the singles’ 5th-6th place match.
In doubles competition, Buhler’s Vickie Dukart and Jessica Steffen beat McPherson’s Camry Holle and Emily Ediger 6-2, 6-4 to win the doubles championship.
The Hesston tandem of Rachel Shogen and Ashley Weaver beat Abilene’s Ana Weissenbach and Michaela Olberding 7-6 (4), 6-1 for the 3rd-4th place match in doubles.
McPherson’s Brooke Bate and Taylor Swartzendruber beat Chapman’s Morgan Potter and Laura Thurlow 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the 5th-=6th place doubles match.
"We all kind of new who the top four or five seeds were and it pretty much played out that way," Brown said. "When it gets down to five, six, seven … to get into state … I don’t think anything shocking happened here today. It pretty much fell to plan."