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Thursday, August 23, 2012
SALINA SINGLES TOURNAMENT                                    


The Salina Central Lady Mustangs opened the 2012 season with a third place finish at home in the Salina Singles Invitational. The Lady Mustangs were lead by two second place finishes by Sammy Jordan and Sydney Dauer in #2 and #3 Singles respectively. Both girls finished the day with records of 2 wins against 1 loss.

#1 Singles player Morgan Hauserman finished 3rd with a record of 1 win against 2 losses as well as teammate Jera Richardson at #4 singles. Sammy Jordan and Sydney Dauer are both Seniors, while Morgan Hauserman is a sophomore and Jera Richardson is a freshman.

The Lady Mustangs are back in action Saturday with a trip to Topeka and the Shawnee Heights Doubles Invitational.


Thursday, August 30, 2012
SALINA CENTRAL QUAD                                   


The Lady Mustangs were victorious on the Salina Central Tennis Courts Thursday afternoon. Salina Central was led by 3 first place finishers in 4 different divisions. The #1 Doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris finished the day at 3-0. Also finishing in first was Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson at #2 Doubles and Riley Miller at #2 Singles. Briggs is the lone senior of the group, while Morris is a junior and Hauserman, Johnson, and Miller are all sophomores. Senior Alisha Walters finished in 4th place.

The Mustangs finished with 9 points and were followed by Salina South in second with 6 points and Marysville in third with 5 points. Hutchinson rounded out the field in 4th place with 4 points. Salina Central is back in action Saturday as they are host to the Mustang Duels at the Salina Central Courts.


Saturday, September 1, 2012
MUSTANG DUELS                                    


Salina South went 4-0 and three Cougar entries went unbeaten in their respective divisions to enable South to win the team title Saturday at the Salina Central Duels.

South started the day with its closest duel, topping eventual runner-up Arkansas City, 4-3. The Cougars also defeated St. Thomas Aquinas (7-0), Central (6-1) and Topeka West (5-2).

Central finished third in the five-team tournament. In addition to the loss to South, the Mustangs picked up wins against Topeka West (4-3) and Aquinas (6-1), but lost to Ark City (5-2).

South’s Amber Rayl and Deby Nouanlasy were unbeaten in singles play, with Rayl going 4-0 in the No. 3 singles division, while Nouanlasy was 4-0 at No. 4 singles. The Cougars were also unbeaten at No. 3 doubles, where Sarah McConnell and Courtney Irwin went 4-0, winning two matches in tiebreakers.

Going 3-1 on the day for South was Katie Siemsen at No. 2 singles, and Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell at No. 2 doubles. Marisa Mitchell was 2-2 at No. 1 singles, as was Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes at No. 1 doubles.

Central was led by its doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris, who finished unbeaten in four matches. The closest match for Briggs and Morris came against Cook-Haynes, 8-3.
Central’s Megan Johnson went 3-1 at No. 4 singles with her lone loss to Nouanlasy. Going 2-2 for the Mustangs were Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson at No. 2 doubles, and Alisha Walters and Sydney Dauer at No. 3 doubles.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012
NEWTON V                                    


The Lady Mustangs traveled to Newton on Tuesday and finished the day in 5th place. The doubles team of sophomore Meg Johnson and freshman Sydney Kossow led the way for the Mustangs with a 7th place finish. In 8th place was the doubles team of senior Sydney Dauer and sophomore Megan Johnson.

Senior Sammy Jordan was the top finisher in singles with a 9th place finish. Sophomore teammate Riley Miller finished in 12th place.

Salina Central is back in action next Saturday as they host their own Invitational at Salina Central High School.


Saturday, September 8, 2012
SALINA CENTRAL V                                    


Marisa Mitchell is more concerned with improving her game than her win-loss record right now.

The Salina South junior has faced some of the top singles players in the state in the first few weeks of the high school tennis season. That was the case again Saturday when Mitchell was part of a loaded singles bracket at the 14-team Salina Central Invitational.

“You know what you need to work on after a tournament like this,” Mitchell said. “And there is always something I can work on.”
Mitchell went 4-1 and finished fifth among the 28 singles players competing at Oakdale Park. She had the top finish among all Salina entries in singles or doubles.

Salina South finished fifth in the team standings with 82 points but was only three points shy of Maize South in third and two back of fourth-place McPherson. Arkansas City won the team title with 107 points, with Maize the meet runner-up at 93. A short-handed Central squad took 10th.

South fell short of a third tournament title in the last eight days, but it was not a disappointing finish in the eyes of coach Ryan Stuart.
“We had a good week,” Stuart said. “We won a meet last Saturday, and then we won another meet Tuesday. The girls had a lot of confidence coming into this meet.

“It was a gorgeous day to play, they got to play five matches and they all played pretty well. I am sure every one of them had a match they would probably like to do over, but they did play pretty well.”
Mitchell’s lone loss on the day came in the quarterfinals where she fell to Arkansas City’s Heidi Klaassen. Mitchell responded with two wins in the consolation bracket, including an 8-3 victory over No. 3 seed Olivia Medaris of Maize in the fifth-place match. It was Mitchell’s first win over Medaris in three tries.

“There was a lot of competition today,” Mitchell said. “I was seeded fifth and I got fifth, and my only loss was to the girl seeded fourth.
“It was a good eye opener. We saw teams today that aren’t from this area — teams from Lawrence and the Wichita area. Playing people like that shows me what I have to work on before my next tournament.”

The Cougars also had a strong showing from seniors Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes. The South doubles team advanced to the quarterfinals at the Central High courts before falling 8-6 to the tournament’s top seed, Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzales from Arkansas City. Haynes and Cook eventually finished sixth with a record of 3-2.

“Mitchell getting fifth was a good finish for her,” Stuart said. “Especially with a good win over Medaris. Cook and Haynes also had a good day, getting to the quarterfinals and losing 8-6 to the top seed. They are starting to come around and play good doubles.”
South also had a 14th-place finish from its doubles team of Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell, while Deby Nouanlasy took 16th in singles.

Central was playing without its No. 1 singles player in Sammy Jordan, and its top doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris. Both Jordan and Briggs were taking the ACT college preparatory test Saturday morning.

The Mustangs went with a much younger lineup, playing four sophomores and two freshmen.

“I look at it as a day of opportunity for our younger players,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “We had girls unable to play because of testing, but that gave our freshmen and sophomores a chance to play and get some experience.

“Considering the level of competition, I thought they went out there and did very well.” Central’s top finish came in doubles where sophomores Meg Johnson and Morgan Hauserman placed eighth. Johnson-Hauserman also had a tough loss in the quarterfinals, falling 8-5 to eventual champions Hannah Weber and Allison Reiser from Hutchinson.

Sophomore Megan Johnson and freshman Sydney Kossow teamed to place 16th in doubles. Sophomore Riley Miller took 18th for the Mustangs in singles, while freshman Jera Richardson was 24th.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012
GODDARD V                                    


At Goddard, Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris won the No. 1 doubles title and helped Salina Central to a second-place finish in the Goddard Invitational. Briggs and Morris defeated Katie Bauguess and Jill Seidl of Valley Center 8-3 in the title match.

Sydney Kossow placed second in No. 2 singles, losing to Mary Meeker of Wichita Collegiate 8-0 in the championship match. The Mustangs’ No. 2 doubles team of Riley Miller and Jera Richardson also placed second, losing to Emily Ramsey and Kara Maloney of Collegiate 8-2 in the championship. Central finished with 21 team points, eight behind Collegiate. Derby was third with 18. The Mustangs play Thursday at Ark City.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012
WICHITA COLLEGIATE V                                    


At Wichita, Salina Central’s No. 1 doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and McKenzie Morris won all three of their matches and claimed the title at the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.

The Mustangs’ No. 2 doubles team of Morgan Haserman and Meg Johnson was 2-1 on the day and placed third. Both of Central singles entries were 1-2 and placed fourth — Sammy Jordan at No. 1 and Riley Miller at No. 2. Collegiate won the team title with 24 points.

Central tied Winfield for second with 21 points. The Mustangs play in the Arkansas City Invitational tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012
ARKANSAS CITY V                                    


At Arkansas City, the Mustangs’ team of Gabrielle Briggs and McKenzie Morris had a perfect day at 4-0 to win the doubles division of the Arkansas City Invitational. Other top 10 finishers on the day for the Salina schools were Cassidy Cook of South in sixth place in singles (3-2), Central’s Sammy Jordan in eighth (2-3) and Marisa Mitchell of South in ninth (4-1). Riley Miller of Central finished 20th.

Other finishes in doubles were Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson of Central in 15th place. South teams of Sarah McConnell and Katie Siemsen finished 18th and Molly Courbot-Sophia Darnell finished 19th.

Wichita Carroll was the team champion with 144 points. Central had 97, while South collected 85. Both teams will be in action this afternoon in the South Invitational. Singles will be played at Oakdale Park and doubles will be played at Central High School.


Thursday, September 20, 2012
SALINA SOUTH V                                    


Salina South’s third-place finish in both the singles and doubles brackets helped the Cougars to a runner-up finish in the team standings Thursday at the South Invitational tennis tournament.
Five of the six South players were competing in their second tournament in as many days, after playing in the Arkansas City Invitational on Wednesday.

The Cougars finished with 54 team points, trailing only state-ranked Wichita Kapaun (No. 2 in Class 5A) with 66. Maize finished third, one point back of South, while Salina Central was sixth in the eight-team meet. The Mustangs played without some of their usual varsity players, after competing in back-to-back meets Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Kapaun has been a 5A power year-in and year-out,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “And any time you beat Maize, you are happy about it. They’ve been at the top of our league for a long time so we’re pleased to finish ahead of them.”

South’s Marisa Mitchell lost a tough semifinal match to Hannah Hills of Maize, 8-6. Mitchell bounced back with an 8-0 victory over Great Bend’s Morgan Francis in the third-place match, giving Mitchell a record of 3-1 on the day.

The Cougars top doubles team of Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes followed a similar patch. After losing in the semifinals to eventual champions Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt of Wichita Kapaun, Cook and Haynes picked up a win over Kapaun’s second doubles team in the third-place match.

With the 8-2 victory over Allegra Morton and Hannah Glasgow for third, Cook and Haynes also ended their day at 3-1.

“I’m really pleased with Mitchell, Cook and Haynes,” Stuart said. “They dropped tough semifinals and finished strong for third place.
“It is easy to hang your head after a semifinal loss, but they came back and played inspired.”

South also had a sixth-place finish from Katie Siemsen in singles, while teammates Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell were eighth in doubles.

Central’s Sydney Dauer and Alisha Walters went 3-1 on the day and finished ninth, one spot ahead of Mustang doubles partners Sydney Kossow and Megan Johnson. Jera Richardson was 12th and Jessie Plante 14th for Central in singles.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012
TOPEKA WEST V                                    


At Topeka, Salina Central’s No. 1 doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris remained unbeaten on the season by winning all three of their matches in the Topeka West Invitational.

Briggs and Morris led the Mustangs to a third-place finish in the team standings with 39 points. Blue Valley was first with 52 and Topeka Washburn Rural second with 43.

Central’s No. 2 doubles team of Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson placed third, going 2-1 on the day. Both singles entries placed seventh with 2-2 records, Sammy Jordan at No. 1 and Sydney Kossow at No. 2.

Central will play host to a quad meet on Thursday at the Central High courts, starting at 3 p.m.


Thursday, September 27, 2012
SALINA CENTRAL QUAD II V                                    


Salina Central’s No. 1 doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris won three more matches Thursday in the Salina Central quadrangular at the Central High courts.

The duo won the No. 1 doubles title and is now 24-0 on the season.
Central placed third in the team standings. Emporia was first with nine points followed by Wichita Collegiate with seven and Central with five. Newton had two points.

The Mustangs’ No. 2 doubles team of Sydney Dauer and Riley Miller placed second with a 2-1 record. Sammy Jordan at No. 1 singles and Megan Johnson at No. 2 singles each finished fourth. Jordan and Johnson were 0-3 on the day.

Next up for Central is the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I tournament Monday in Hutchinson.


Monday, October 1, 2012
AVCTL LEAGUE V                                    


At Hutchinson, Marisa Mitchell placed second in singles and Amber Rayl fifth, leading Salina South to a second-place finish in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League I tennis tournament.

Mitchell was 2-1 on the day and Rayl 3-1.The Cougars finished with 33 points, one ahead of Derby. Maize easily won the team title with 47. Salina Central placed fourth with 28 points.

Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes were 2-2 and placedsixth in doubles for South while Molly Courbot and Katie Siemsen were 1-2 and took 10th.

Central was led by its undefeated doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris, who breezed to the championship by winning all three of their matches after a first-round bye. Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson
finished eighth, going 2-2 for the Mustangs.

In singles, Central’s Sammy Jordan took ninth with a 3-1 record. Teammate Sydney Kossow placed 11th, going 2-2. Central and South will compete in the Class 5A regional tournament Saturday in Topeka.


Saturday, October 6, 2012
5A REGIONAL @ Topeka                                    


It was an all- Salina championship match at the Class 5A regional tennis tournament Saturday, where Salina Central’s doubles team of Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris remained unbeaten with their victory over Salina South’s Cassidy Cook and McKenzie Haynes. While Briggs and Morris won the doubles final, it was South that came out on top in the regional team standings at Kossover Tennis Center.

The Cougars finished with 15 points to edge runner-up Topeka West by one point and finish two in front of Central in third. “We were one point shy of a regional title last year but we pretty much had the entire team coming back,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “Winning regional this year was a goal in the back of my mind coming into the season and to actually accomplish it was pretty sweet. “I couldn’t be more proud of the girls.” Not only did South win the team title, the Cougars were the only school at the regional to qualify its entire team for this week’s 5A state tournament.

When South returns to Kossover on Friday for the state tourney, it will be represented in doubles by Cook-Haynes and the team of Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell. The Cougars also qualified Marisa Mitchell and Katie Siemsen in singles, meaning South will have the maximum number of representatives for this year’s state tourney. “I was cautiously optimistic that if we played well we would have a chance to qualify all six,” Stuart said. “All four entries played well and had to really win a quality match to get in, and they were all able to do that.”

Briggs and Morris are now 30-0 and could be the top seed after finishing third at state a year ago. Central will also be represented at state by senior Sammy Jordan, who finished fourth in singles Saturday. The top six singles players and top six doubles teams at each regional advance to the state tournament. As regional champion and runner-up, the doubles teams of Briggs-Morris and Cook-Haynes will each have a first-round bye at state.

Briggs and Morris defeated Cook and Haynes in the championship match, 6-2, 6-3. Both Mitchell and Jordan advanced to the regional semifinals where Jordan lost to eventual champion Ashley DeBauge of Emporia and Mitchell was defeated by Topeka West’s Claudia Boretti.

That led to an all-Salina matchup in the singles third-place contest, where Mitchell defeated Jordan, 6-0, 6-0. After locking up a state tournament berth, Courbot and Darnell met Shawnee Heights’ Madison Lysaught and Madison Foster in the fifth-place match. Courbot and Darnell won the opening set, but eventually fell in a third set super tiebreaker, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 10-4. Siemsen also reached the fifth-place match in singles before ending her day with a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Topeka West’s Jodi Ladner.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 12-14, 2012
5A STATE @ Topeka                                    

Briggs and Morris win State Championship with 34-0 record

TOPEKA — In their first 33 matches this season, Gabrielle Briggs and MacKenzie Morris had never been down like this. In practice, that’s another story. When the Salina Central doubles team tried to recreate a possible worse-case scenario, this was what they imagined.
It wasn’t an insurmountable deficit — the final score proved that — but Briggs and Morris rallied from a seemingly hopeless situation in the final set of the Class 5A girls state championship match Sunday afternoon at Kossover Tennis Center.

After dominating the opening set against Wichita Kapaun’s Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt, Briggs and Morris lost 10 of the next 11 games to find themselves down 0-4 in the third and deciding set.
“That’s what you practice for,” Briggs said. “You pretend you are down 0-5 in the last game at state. You don’t think you will ever really have to do that, but we did.” They nearly did. Kapaun never picked up that fifth game, as Briggs and Morris closed strong and won six unanswered games to post a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory.

Briggs, a senior, and Morris, a junior, finish their season with a 34-0 record. After playing doubles together for the last three seasons, they become the fifth Central doubles team to win a state title and the first since Laine Graham and Katie Huseman in 2004.

“You don’t want to think you’re done, but you get down like that and it starts hitting you,” Morris said. “We never expected it to be that much of a battle, but the fact that we had to fight for every point makes it that much more incredible.

“It’s one thing to win, but to know you fought back from 0-4 ... that shows our mental toughness. That’s what definitely pulled us through today. That and coach (Mike) Goll. I don’t think we win this without him keeping our heads up.” “Coach Goll told us this is how you reveal your character and that’s what we did today,” Briggs said. “Down 0-4 — that’s one for the history books.”

After Central broke Pringle’s serve in the third game of the second set to trail 2-1, Kapaun won the next eight games. During that stretch, the Mustangs lost the opening point in seven of the eight games, and were down 0-30 in six of eight.

Trailing 0-4, Central did not give up a point with Briggs serving, then broke Pringle for the fourth time in the match to make it 4-2.
“When you are down 0-4 things start running through your head,” Briggs said. “You start thinking your season is coming to an end and we’ve got to get this done
“I took a couple of deep breaths and took it to a higher power. I thought ‘God, I need your strength right now. Whether we win or lose, I just want to play our best,’ and that’s what we did.”

After the seventh game of the final set twice went to deuce, both Crusaders were at then net when Morris lifted a perfectly placed lob that landed just inside the baseline to make it 4-3. The final three games weren’t nearly so close. Kapaun had return shots go long for the final point in both the eighth and ninth games, and with Central leading 40-15 in the final game, it was a return into the net that produced the game winner.

“We didn’t expect them to roll over,” Morris said. “We never once thought we had this one in the bag. We knew there was no guarantees, even when we were sitting there up 40-15, 5-4 in the third set.”

“You never count them out of any match,” Goll said. “They had played 33 times and they answered every call. They find a way to answer and they always answer together.”

Briggs and Morris first exchanged handshakes at the net with their opponents, then shared lengthy hugs — first with one another and shortly after with their families.

After winning 97 of their 103 matches together the last three years, Morris and Briggs saved their most memorable match for their last.
“I ran up and hugged Gabby because I was so excited, and then it hit me that it was going to be my last match with her,” Morris said. “It’s the best way to end her career and our partnership.”

“It’s sad but I’m trying to stay positive about it,” said Briggs, who played doubles as a freshman with Abby Morris, MacKenzie’s sister. “I think it will hit me during the award ceremony, but for the last four years I’ve been playing tennis with a member of the Morris family.
“It’s been a great run and I wouldn’t change anything.”


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