Three-peats highlight 2019 Girls State Tennis
The 2019 Girls Tennis season is in the books, and back-to-back-to-back champions in both 5A and 3-2-1A highlighted the end of the 2019 season.
In class 5A, Clara Whitaker from Kapaun Mt. Carmel won her third consecutive title, keeping alive the possibility of her winning a title all four years of high school. Then in the smallest class for tennis, Lilly McNeill from Kansas City-Christian closed out her high school career with a third straight title as well. Both were part of championship winning teams for each tournament as well.
Blue Valley North's run of four straight team titles came to an end Saturday, with Shawnee MIssion East barely edging out BVN to take the team title. Both finished with 43 total points, and determining a state champion went to a third tiebreaker which saw SME win the championship based on percentage of games won.
The Lancers' doubles team Bryson Langford and Greta Stechschulte took their first title to put SM East over the top, with the Lancers also taking 4th in doubles and 5th in singles.
The Singles title was also a first time state champion, with Blue Valley Northwest's Alisa Prinyarux taking home the title in three sets over Blue Valley North's Callie Flanagan.
Kapaun won their first title since 2011 on the backs of their two singles stars, with Clara Whitaker and Reagan Boleski combining for 29 of KMC's team points to push the Crusaders by Salina South for the championship. The Cougars used a pair of 5th place finishes in both singles and doubles to put them in position for a title. Andover finished close behind for third.
Whitaker took the singles title, her third consecutive win, setting her up to go a perfect 4/4 in 2020. She knocked off her teammate Boleski in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, to clinch the championship. Boleski reached the championship match by outlasting Bishop Carroll's Paige Stranghoner in three sets in the semifinal match.
In doubles, McPherson's Taylor Bruce and CeAnna Allen finished a perfect 35-0 season as partners with a 6-4, 6-3 straight set victory over St. James' Molly Book and Madison Biondo. It's the first state title for the McPherson doubles team, and first for the school since 2016 when they were competing in 4A.
For a 5th straight year in 4A, and 11th overall, Wichita Collegiate will add a girls state tennis trophy to the case. The Spartans ran away with the team title Saturday, finishing with a staggering 55 points of a possible 58 for the championship.
The Spartans' Emma Mantovani defeated Circle's Annabelle Adams in the final, a revenge match for the Collegiate freshman after she fell to Adams in three sets a week ago at Regionals. The title rematch again went three sets, with Adams taking the first 7-5 before Mantovani won the final two to take the title, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
In doubles, Wellington's Kylie Aufdengarten and Rylee Rusk got by Collegiate's Sallie Lair and Lily Conrad in a three-set thriller, giving the Crusader pair their first state title. Lair/Conrad took the first set 6-2, then Aufdengarten/Rusk answered with a 6-3 win in the second set. The third set went down to the wire, with Collegiate leading it 5-4 before Wellington came back to take three straight points and take home the title, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Kansas City Christian came away with a third straight title, topping Central Plains by three points, 40-37, to clinch the title. KCC used a first place finish in singles and second place in doubles to take home the championship.
Lilly McNeill won her third straight singles crown, defeating Central Plains' Emily Ryan all three years in the championship match. McNeill didn't lose a single point until the second set of the championship match, defeating Ryan 6-0, 6-1 to end her senior season with another first place finish.
Kara Koester and Karlee Osner from Conway Springs took the doubles title, improving upon a third place finish a year ago for their first state title, just the third individual girls tennis championship in school history. Their match with KCC's Juliet Bartels & Keira Knoflicek went to three sets, with the Koester/Osner taking the match in a tiebreak for the title.