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Thursday, August 26, 2010
SALINA SINGLES TOURNAMENT                                    


The Salina Central girls tennis team opened its season by winning each of its 12 matches Thursday at the Salina Singles Quadrangular.

The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, had each of their four entries in the tournament finish with a 3-0 record, winning every singles division at the Central High courts. There was no doubles competition in this event.

Seniors Jordan Brown and Laurel Michel won No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. The Mustangs had sophomores Sammy Jordan and Kate Martens claim the other two titles — Jordan in No. 3 singles and Martens at No. 4.

Central finished with a team score of 12 points. Salina South finished tied for second with Smoky Valley in the team standings, each with six points.

South Rachel Frazier was second at No. 1 singles with a 2-1 record. That was matched by the Cougars Emily Jones at No. 2 singles.

South’s Carly Anderson and Deby Nouanlasy both went 1-2 and finished third in their divisions


Saturday, August 28, 2010


Salina Central athletes won three of the four brackets and the Mustangs captured the team title at the Shawnee Heights Doubles Tournament .

Central, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A, finished with 15 points in edging Lawrence Free State, which had 13.

Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman went 4-0 in the No. 1 division as did Jordan Brown and Sammy Jordan in No. 3 and Rachel Norris and Kate Martens in No. 4.

Central’s No. 2 team of Gabby Briggs and MacKenzie Morris finished second with a 3-1 record.

The Mustangs play host to quad on Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m.

Thursday, September 2, 2010
SALINA CENTRAL TRIANGULAR                                    


Salina Central won both singles divisions and the No. 1 doubles bracket and the team championship of the Lady Mustang Triangular on Thursday at the Mustang Courts on the campus of Salina Central High School.

Laurel Michel finished 3-0 in No. 1 singles while Rachel Norris was 2-1 at No. 2 singles. The No. 1 doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris were 3-0 at No. 1 doubles.

Central’s No. 2 doubles team of Sammy Jordan and Kate Martens were 1-2 on the day and placed second.

Central scored nine team points. Marysville placed second with five points and Hutchinson third with four.

The Mustangs will have their duels tournament Saturday. Salina South also will compete in the event as well as defending state champion, St. Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, September 4, 2010
SALINA CENTRAL DUELS                                    


The first names change, but the results remain the same.

As doubles partners in 2009, Gabby Briggs and Abby Morris reached the Class 5A state semifinals in their only season as Salina Central teammates.

After Morris graduated this past May, Briggs was left looking for a new partner as she began her sophomore season. Enter the latest, and last, of the Morris sisters.

MacKenzie Morris, a freshman and the younger sister of former Mustang standouts Amanda and Abby Morris, has teamed with Briggs in three tournaments during the past two weeks, and already they have combined for a 10-1 record.

That includes a 4-0 mark Saturday at the Central Duels Tournament, where Morris and Briggs took first in the No. 2 doubles division.

"MacKenzie’s a great player and I get to move from one great teammate, Abby, to another Morris," Briggs said. "We get along well and that makes things flow on the court."

In their four matches Saturday, no opposing team won more than two games in the eight-game pro sets. That included an 8-2 victory over runners-up Brooke Jackson and Janelle Headrick of Arkansas City, and another 8-2 win over Morgan Hicks and Adreanne Orlanes of St. Thomas Aquinas.

"I’ve definitely enjoyed taking my sister’s spot and keeping things going with Gabby," Morris said. "Her strength is at the net and mine is at the baseline, so she’s been helping me with volleying and I’m helping her with her baseline shots."

The Mustangs had two other entries win their respective divisions Saturday. Junior Rachel Norris went 4-0 at No. 3 singles, while senior Jordan Brown went 3-1 and won a three-way tiebreaker for first at No. 2 singles.

All seven Central entries — four singles players and three doubles teams — finished third or better. The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in 5A, did have a setback when they lost their duel with Aquinas, 4-3. Aquinas took the team title with a 4-0 record in the round-robin format, followed by Central (3-1), Arkansas City (2-2), Salina South (1-3) and Topeka West (0-4).

Aquinas is the defending 5A state champion and is No. 4 in the current Kansas coaches rankings.

"The girls have to understand that they have a target on their backs and everybody is after us," said Central coach Mike Goll. "We were not a unanimous pick for No. 1 and just because some people think we are No. 1, it doesn’t mean a thing until October.

"I think these girls will learn from this and come back stronger, but the only way that will happen is by working hard in practice."

Like Briggs and Morris, Norris had little difficulty in winning each of her four matches, none closer than her 8-3 victory over runner-up Bre Hall of Ark City.

"I was really pleased with how I played today," Norris said. "With singles you’ve got to constantly keep your mental guard up and that’s one of the hardest things about it."

In addition to their first-place finishes in two singles divisions, the Mustangs also finished second at No. 1 singles with senior Laurel Michel, while sophomore Sammy Jordan took second at No. 4 singles. Central was a combined 13-3 in the four singles divisions.

"This is a really stacked team and whoever you play in practice is going to be good," Norris said. "That’s helping us to get better and it’s why we’re as good as we are."

Central’s Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman suffered their first loss of the season, finishing 3-1 and taking second in the No. 1 doubles division. Kate Martens and Sydney Dauer went 2-2 and were third at No. 3 doubles.

South’s top finishes came from juniors Rachel Frazier and Tina Truong. Frazier won her first two matches, finished 2-2 and took third in No. 1 singles. Truong also went 2-2 and placed third in No. 3 singles.

Both Frazier and Truong had to win one match in a tiebreaker to earn their medals.

"We competed really well but we’re as young as we’ve been since I’ve been here," said South coach Ryan Stuart, who had one senior among his 10 players Saturday. "I saw a bunch of progress but it’s hard to make the kids see that with the caliber of teams we saw at this meet.

"Rachel was a real bright spot for us. She got a nice win against the girl from Aquinas and really stepped up and competed all day."

Saturday, September 11, 2010
SALINA CENTRAL INVITATIONAL                                


Salina Central had two of the top three finishes in the doubles division and a third-place showing in singles, leading the Mustangs to the team title Saturday at their own Central Invitational.

Sophomore Gabby Briggs and freshman MacKenzie Morris took first in doubles and had little trouble in their four matches, losing a total of four games on the day.

That included an 8-0 victory in the tourney title match against Maize sophomores Paige Lungwitz and Jess Holman, and an 8-1 win over Brooklynn Dossey and Ellie Dunn of Goddard in the semifinals

Lungwitz and Holman denied an all-Mustang title match in doubles. They went to a tiebreaker to defeat Central’s Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman in the semifinals, 8-7 (7-2). It was the lone loss of the day for DeTurk and Hauserman, who downed Dossey-Dunn in the third-place match, 8-2.

Laurel Michel also went 3-1 on the day to give Central a third-place finish in singles. Michel fell to eventual champion Casyn Buchman of McPherson in the tourney semifinals, but closed with a victory over McPherson’s Kirsten Holle in the third-place match. Central’s Jordan Brown took sixth in singles with a 3-2 record.

The Mustangs finished with 119 points to take the team title over second-place McPherson with 101. Salina South was eighth with 61 points, and Salina Central’s second team was 10th in the 14-team tournament.

South’s top finish came in doubles, where sophomores Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes won their first two matches and eventually finished eighth.

South freshman Marisa Mitchell lost in the tournament’s second round, but closed with three consecutive wins and finish 4-1. That included an 8-3 victory over Ashley Suhr in the ninth-place match.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010
GODDARD INVITATIONAL                                


At Goddard, Salina Central won both singles divisions and the No. 2 doubles division en route to claiming the team title at the Goddard Invitational.

Central’s MacKenzie Morris defeated Kari Rezac of Maize 8-3 in the No. 1 singles final; Gabrielle Briggs of Central downed Mary Meeker of Wichita Collegiate 8-5 in the No. 2 singles final; and Laurel Michel and Rachel Norris of Central toppled Kylie Hudnall and Caitlin Matson of Goddard 8-5 in the No. 2 doubles championship.

Central’s No. 1 doubles team of Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman lost to Grace Lemaster and Jillian Johnson of Collegiate 8-5 in the finals.  Lemaster and Johnson are the defending 321A State Champions.

The Mustangs finished with 30 team points, easily outpacing Collegiate, which finished second with 21 points. Goddard placed third with 16 points.

Central travels to Wichita next Tuesday to compete in the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010
WICHITA COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL                                


At Wichita, Salina Central won both doubles and one singles division in rolling to the championship of the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.

Central, the former No. 1-ranked team in Class 5A, finished with 29 points, easily outdistancing Wellington and Winfield, which 18 points each. Wichita Collegiate was third with 16.

Both Central doubles teams were 3-0 on the day — Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman at No. 1, and Sammy Jordan and Alisha Walters at No. 2. Rachel Norris won the No. 2 singles title also with a 3-0 record.

Jordan Brown placed third at No. 1 singles with a 2-1 record for Central.

The Mustangs will play in the Salina South Invitational on Thursday and travel to Topeka on Tuesday.


Thursday, September 23, 2010
SALINA SOUTH INVITATIONAL                                


Salina Central won the team championship and Salina South placed second Friday in the rain-delayed Salina South tennis invitational.

Central compiled 72 points while South had 55. Dodge City was third with 51.

The tournament was scheduled for Thursday, but was postponed because of wet weather.

The Lady Mustangs finished first and second in the double division as Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman defeated teammates Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris 8-7 (8-6) in the title match. Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes of South finished third.

South’s Marisa Mitchell was the singles champion, defeating Laurel Michel of Central 8-0 in the championship match. Jordan Brown of Central took third and South’s Rachel Frazier sixth.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010
TOPEKA WEST INVITATIONAL                                


Salina Central put the finishing touches on a splendid regular season by winning the Topeka West Invitational.

The Mustangs captured the team title with 50 points, edging out Blue Valley which had 46.

Jordan Brown won the No. 2 singles title for Central, going 3-0 on the day. The Mustangs’ No. 2 doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris also finished first by winning all three of their matches.

Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman placed second at No. 1 doubles with a 2-1 record, and Laurel Michel was fourth in No. 1 singles, going 1-2 on the day.

Next up for Central is the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League meet Monday in Salina, followed by the Class 5A regional tournament on Oct. 9 at McPherson.


Monday, October 4, 2010
AVCTL LEAGUE                               


The scenario seemed all too familiar for Mike Goll, which only made him feel a bit uneasy.

As head coach of the Salina Central girls tennis team, Goll was also serving as meet director Monday afternoon at the Central High courts during the annual Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Tournament.

A year ago Central and Maize finished tied for first in the Division I team standings, only to have the Eagles edge Goll’s Mustangs in the tournament’s tie-breaking procedure.

With only one match remaining Monday, it was apparent Central and Maize would finished tied again. Unlike 2009, Central held the edge in the tiebreaker this time.

The first tiebreaker of head-to-head matches resolved nothing since the teams had two wins apiece. The second tiebreaker — total games won divided by total games played — gave Central the upperhand. After Goll finished ciphering, the Mustangs’ win percentage of .707 topped the .588 of the Eagles.

"It was kind of nice to come back and win it over the same team that beat us in a tiebreaker last year," Goll said.

Oddly enough, the two schools also finished tied for first at the league’s junior varsity meet Monday at Oakdale Park, but decided not to break that tie since there was no true league championship on the line.

Central had first-place finishes in two of the four divisions — sweeping the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles titles — and a runner-up finish in a third. Maize won No. 2 singles, but finished second in each of the other three divisions.

Both teams finished with 26 points. Salina South was third in the seven-team meet with 17 points.

Central seniors Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman successfully defended their league title in No. 1 doubles. Theirs was the final match of the day, locking up the team title with their 6-2, 6-0 victory over Paige Lungwitz and Jess Holman of Maize in the final.

"I think we played pretty well today," DeTurk said.

"We were really clicking today and we’ve been piecing everything together. It’s a good time to do it with regionals this weekend."

Monday’s meet was the last of the regular season for the Salina schools, with postseason competition beginning Saturday with a Class 5A regional at McPherson.

"We feel really confident going into regionals and state," said Hauserman. "We’re peaking at the right time and getting into the groove of things.

"Now that we’re down to the wire, you can’t change much. We have to be confident in our shots because it’s all or nothing now."

While DeTurk and Hauserman were dominant on their path to the No. 1 doubles title, teammates Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris were equally so in No. 2 doubles.

As the top seed in the division, Briggs and Morris followed their first-round bye with a 6-0, 6-1 victory in the semifinals, then rolled past Anna Friesen and Hannah Hills of Maize in the title match, 6-1, 6-1.

"We could have played better but it is definitely all coming together," said Briggs, a sophomore who teamed with former partner Abby Morris to win No. 2 doubles in 2009. "Today was definitely a good day to see what we need to work on going into regional, then tweak things a little more next week before state."

"We didn’t play our best but we played pretty well and it was good to end with a win," said MacKenzie Morris, a freshman making her first league tourney appearance. "This should give us a boost for regionals. We’re young but we’ve got a lot of talent and know we can do well."

Central’s Jordan Brown advanced to the title match at No. 2 singles before falling to Kari Rezac of Maize in the maximum three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

Brown trailed 5-4 in the third set and fought off two match points in the 10th game to get the set tied, but Rezac took the last two games to earn the Eagles their only title. Brown also finished as runner-up in that division a year ago.

South’s top finish came in the singles divisions where Marissa Mitchell and Rachel Frazier placed third. Mitchell’s only loss in No. 1 singles came to eventual champion Olivia Medaris of Campus. The Cougar freshman then defeated Central’s Laurel Michel in the third-place contest, 6-3, 6-0.

Frazier also lost in the semifinals of No. 2 singles to the eventual champion, but she finished the day with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Derby’s Alyxis Bowens for third.

"Third place as a team is the highest finish we’ve had since I’ve been here," said fourth-year South coach Ryan Stuart. "When you finish third to Central and Maize, there’s nothing wrong with that. Our goal was realistically to finish third when we started today and we accomplished that."

South’s Cassidy Cook and Mackenzie Haynes were fourth in No. 1 doubles, while Alyssa Kinkelaar and Molly Courbot took fifth in No. 2 doubles.


Saturday, October 9, 2010
5A REGIONAL @ McPherson                                


Both Salina schools had their share of success while competing at the Class 5A regional tennis tournament Saturday at McPherson High School.

Salina Central not only won the regional team title, but qualified its entire squad for next weekend’s 5A state tournament at Emporia.

Salina South had a first-place finish in the singles division from freshman Marisa Mitchell, and also qualified both of its doubles teams for state while taking third in the regional team standings.

Central seniors Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman were the regional runner-up in doubles Saturday, advancing to the title match before falling to McPherson’s unbeaten duo of Casyn Buchman and Kirsten Holle, 6-0, 6-2. DeTurk and Hauserman (26-5) were state runners-up in 2009, losing to Buchman and Holle (19-0) in the state final.

Sophomore Gabrielle Briggs and freshman MacKenzie Morris finished third in the regional doubles bracket, downing McPherson’s Kylee Bonham and Erika Wedel in the third-place match, 6-1, 6-0. Briggs-Morris (25-3) lost a tight match in the semifinals to their teammates, 7-5, 6-4.

"We’re very pleased with the team championship and the girls are playing some of the best tennis of the year," said Central coach Mike Goll, whose team is ranked No. 3 in 5A. "Unfortunately the girls had to play each other in the semifinals and that was a downer going into the last match.

"But overall it was a very good day and I like our positioning for state next Friday."

Central’s Jordan Brown finished third in singles, defeating fellow Mustang senior Laurel Michel in the third-place match, 6-4, 6-2. The top six singles players and top six doubles teams advance to state.

Mitchell will take a 23-2 record into the state tournament after she won her first regional title. She faced another freshman in the title match in McPherson’s Moira Pyle and Mitchell struggled early, only to recover in time for a 7-6 (1), 6-0 victory.

After trailing 4-1 in the opening set, Mitchell rallied to force a tiebreaker, winning there and in the second set fairly easily.

"That tiebreak was weird because the set was so close," Mitchell said. "I think I kind of wore her out (in the second set)."

Mitchell will be joined at state by the South doubles teams of Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes, and Alyssa Kinkelaar and Molly Courbot. Cook-Haynes defeated Kinkelaar-Courbot in the regional’s fifth-place match, 6-2, 6-0.

Central finished with 20 team points to top runner-up McPherson at 17, while South was third with 13. Those three teams accounted for 10 of the 12 state qualifying spots, and none of the other four teams in the seven-team regional finished with more than two points.


Friday & Saturday, October 15-16, 2010
5A STATE @ Emporia                                


One team is deep in state tournament experience, the other loaded with newcomers.

The Salina Central and Salina South girls tennis teams will close their season when they compete at the Class 5A state tournament today and Saturday at the Emporia High School courts.

Five of Central’s six qualifiers were at state a year ago when the Mustangs finished second in the team standings behind St. Thomas Aquinas.

South will take its largest contingent in school history to the 5A championships, but none of the five Cougar qualifiers have ever played a point at a state high school tourney.

Central is considered among the favorites to challenge for a team trophy. The Mustangs began the season ranked No. 1 in 5A, slipped to No. 2 behind Wichita Kapaun midway through the season, then dropped to No. 3 earlier this month when Blue Valley-Stilwell dropped from Class 6A to 5A.

"Every year is a little different," said Central coach Mike Goll. "These girls are pretty seasoned players and have been playing for quite awhile. Four of the six are seniors, and the younger girls we have are really into it.

"This is actually the most talented senior class I’ve had at Central. It’s going to be kind of bittersweet at the end of this weekend. That’s a good bunch of girls who will be done with their careers."

Both Central singles players are competing in their final tournament. Jordan Brown (20-8) was a third-place finisher at last week’s regional meet, defeating teammate Laurel Michel (19-9) in the regional’s third-place match.

Senior doubles partners Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman are 26-5 in their final season and finished second at the 5A state meet a year ago.

"We’ve had some good senior players before, but that’s four solid players," Goll said.

Central’s only non seniors are Gabrielle Briggs, a sophomore, and freshman teammate MacKenzie Morris, who are 25-3 in their first season as doubles partners. Briggs teamed with then senior Abby Morris — MacKenzie’s sister — to take third in doubles at state in 2009.

The Central doubles teams will likely have to contend with McPherson’s Casyn Buchman and Kirsten Holle if they hope to challenge for a state title. Buchman and Holle are the defending state champions and are unbeaten the last two years, including a 16-0 record this season.

Wichita Kapaun also fields a formidable doubles team in senior Maddie Schulte and freshman Allie Schulte (18-3). Maddie Schulte won the 5A state singles title in 2009 but switched to doubles for her final year.

"It’s going to be one of the most competitive 5A tournaments we’ve seen," Goll said. "The two teams to beat will be Blue Valley, coming down from 6A, and Wichita Kapaun. We’ll be in a fight after that with us, McPherson and Wichita Carroll."

Salina South

South will send five athletes to the 5A championships, each making her first appearance in a state tennis tournament. That’s a marked improvement over a year ago, when the Cougars were represented by one singles player.

"We’ve got five kids who haven’t been there before and four of the five are freshmen and sophomores," said South coach Ryan Stuart. "That bodes well for our program. A lot of people don’t know it, but this is the most qualifers South has ever had at a girls state tournament.

"The experience of going to state means a lot for those kids. You can’t simulate a state tournament atmosphere in practice. You can talk about it, but hopefully when they get there and experience everything, it will drive them to get better for the rest of their careers."

Alyssa Kinkelaar is the lone senior among the Cougar qualifiers. She will team with freshman Molly Courbot for one South doubles team, while sophomores Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes will also compete in the doubles bracket.

Cook and Haynes finished fifth at last week’s regional tournament, while Kinkelaar and Courbot were sixth. South also qualified freshman Marisa Mitchell in singles play.

"We have senior Alyssa Kinkelaar, and we’d like to send her off right," Stuart said. "Hopefully, this will be a springboard for things to come for the young girls in the group."

As a regional champion, Mitchell (23-2) will have a first-round bye today. She was the only freshman in Kansas to win a regional singles title last week.

"South hasn’t had a regional champion in a few years, but Marisa plays beyond her years," Stuart said. "She plays so smart and has very few unforced errors. She flat out doesn’t make mistakes, and we’d be disappointed if she is not playing on Saturday."


Friday & Saturday, October 15-16, 2010
5A STATE @ Emporia                                


EMPORIA — Salina Central seniors Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman are in position to win a state doubles title following the opening day of the Class 5A state tournament Friday.

State runner-ups a year ago, DeTurk and Hauserman outlasted Adreanne Orlanes and Lauren Huddlestun of Aquinas in the quarterfinals 7-5, 7-5. They’ll take a 28-5 record into today’s semifinal match against Kapaun’s Maddie Schulte and Allie Schulte. Maddie Schulte won the 5A state singles title a year ago.

Central also has two of its other three entries still alive. The doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris went 3-1 Friday and is in position to finish as high as fifth, while senior singles player Laurel Michel went 2-2 and will play for 9th or 11th depending on this morning’s outcome against a familiar opponent, Salina South freshman Marisa Mitchell. The Mustangs’ other qualifier, senior Jordan Brown, lost twice after a first-round victory and was eliminated.

"We won games we should have won and lost a couple of games we had a chance at," Central coach Mike Goll said. "I felt sorry for Jordy, she was within a point of getting in a tiebreaker in her last match, but the rest of the girls are still alive. I was pleased with all of them and with the South girls as well."

South’s best performance Friday came from its doubles team of Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes. The Cougar sophomore tandem went 3-1 and also is in position to finish as high as fifth after finishing fifth at regional. South’s Alyssa Kinkelaar and Molly Courbot were unable to advance to the second day after losing both of their matches.

Mitchell, a regional champion, lost in the second round to Ark City’s Mariah Vargas in a super tiebreaker, and went 1-1 in the consolation bracket.

McPherson’s Casyn Buchman and Kirsten Holle are in position to defend their state doubles title, cruising into the semifinals with a pair of convincing victories to improve to 18-0 on the season.

Advancing both its singles entries to the semifinals and with its doubles teams still alive, Blue Valley is in the driver’s seat to win the team title.


Friday & Saturday, October 15-16, 2010
5A STATE @ Emporia                                

Runners-up last year, seniors DeTurk, Hauserman settle for fourth

EMPORIA — Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman were not only disappointed to see their outstanding high school tennis careers come to an end, they were also disappointed in how they ended.

DeTurk and Hauserman advanced to the semifinals of the Class 5A girls state tournament on Friday but wrapped up their senior season with back-to-back losses Saturday at the Emporia High School courts.

DeTurk and Hauserman — who were 5A state runners-up in 2009 — were denied a return trip to the finals with a 6-2, 6-1 loss in the semifinals to eventual champions Maddie Schulte and Allie Schulte of Wichita Kapuan.

The Mustangs then closed with a 6- 4, 6-3 loss to Wichita Carroll’s Maddie Oxler and Courtney Lubbers in the third-place match to finish their season with a record of 28-7.

"There were some really good teams here, and doubles was tougher than last year," DeTurk said. "You always want to do better than you end up getting, and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t pull through in that last match."

Particularly disappointing for the Mustang duo was the fact that they led in both sets against Carroll but were unable to finish. Hauserman held serve to put her team up 4-3 in the opening set, only to have the Eagles win the next three games.

Central led 3-2 in the final set but fell behind quickly in each of the next three games when Oxler and Lubbers took the lead for good.

"We just couldn’t finish," Hauserman said. "I don’t know if we underestimated them or we were too confident, but for some reason we couldn’t put the ball away. Once we got down, it was hard to have confidence."

Central’s Briggs, Morris fifth

After a loss in Friday’s quarterfinals, Central sophomore Gabrielle Briggs and freshman MacKenzie Morris came back with three consecutive victories, including a 9-5 victory over Kapaun’s Madeline Engel and Rachael Baldwin in the fifth-place match.

"I think we definitely finished strong today," Morris said. "We had some points where we had some breakdowns, but we showed a lot of mental toughness.

"It was a good finish for a freshman and sophomore team. We did about the best we possibly could."

Morris and Briggs had to show some mental toughness in their consolation semifinal, where they advanced with a victory in a tiebreaker over regional champions Adreanne Orlanes and Lauren Huddlestun of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Briggs and former Mustang Abby Morris defeated Orlanes and Huddlestun at the 2009 state quarterfinals and went on to finish third in 5A.

"That reminded me of last year with Abby," Briggs said. "That team is kind of our rivals so it felt good to get that win. Then in our final match we were able to close (Engel and Baldwin) out, which was a nice way to end the season."

Central also had a 10th-place finish from senior Laurel Michel in singles. Michel survived a lengthy consolation match with Salina South freshman Marissa Mitchell, 9-7, to start the day but lost in the ninth-place match to Arkansas City’s Mariah Vargas, 9-3.

Trophy eludes Central

The Mustangs also came up a single point shy of taking home a state trophy. Blue Valley-Stilwell, with a sweep of the top two spots in singles play, won 5A with 43 points, followed by Kapaun with 41. Carroll’s 31 points was one better than Central for third place.

Salina South had state medalists in both doubles and singles. Sophomores Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes, who were fifth at regionals last week, finished eighth at state. Cook and Haynes dropped their final match of the day to Orlanes and Huddlestun, 9-4.

"We were just hoping to make it to Saturday," Haynes said. "Once we made it, we just tried to get a few more wins and move up a few places.

"We played at our highest level this weekend, and it really showed. We’re both pretty young, and if we work hard at it, we should be in pretty good shape next year."

"We weren’t even expecting to make it to Saturday," Cook said. "That was a big surprise, and taking eighth was way over our expectations. It was an excellent finish to our tennis season."

The Cougars, who took seventh in the team standings with 11 points, also had an 11th-place finish for Mitchell. While South had only one senior — Alyssa Kinkelaar — among its five qualifiers, Central will lose four of its six qualifiers to graduation, including DeTurk, Hauserman, Michel and Jordan Brown.

"It was an honor to get to play with my best friend all this time," DeTurk said of Hauserman. "Spending all that time with her brought us a lot closer and it was a good experience to have."

"The last three years have been awesome," said Hauserman. "Ashley made tennis enjoyable and without her, it wouldn’t have been as much fun."

No repeat for Mac

McPherson’s Casyn Buchman and Kirsten Holle, who defeated DeTurk and Hauserman in the 2009 doubles final, fell just short of defending their title. Buchman, a senior, and Holle, a junior, fell to the Schulte sisters in Saturday’s title match, 6-4, 6-4.

It was the first loss in two years for Buchman-Holle, who finished this season at 19-1.

"We could have always played better, and I personally was flat today," Buchman said. "But Kapaun was definitely a great team, and they deserved it. They played very well."


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