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The Salina Central tennis team opened the season with a first-place finish Thursday in a singles quadrangular at the Central High School courts.

The Mustangs finished with eight team points, edging runner-up Wichita Kapaun with seven. Buhler took third with six points, while Salina South was fourth with three.

There were four divisions of singles play. Central’s top finish coming at No. 2 singles where Brittany Blackim went 3-0 and placed first.
South had a first-place finish in No. 4 singles, with Shea McAllister going 2-1 and edging Central’s Caroline Holgerson, who also went 2-1. The Mustangs also had a runner-up finish at No. 1 singles where Sydney Kossow went 2-1.



The Lady Mustang tennis team traveled to Topeka on Saturday and dominated the competition. All three doubles teams finished the day undefeated with 4-0 records.

The team title went to Salina Central with 12 points followed by Lawrence Free State with 8 points, Lansing with 5 points, Topeka West with 4 points, and Shawnee Heights with 1 point.

The #1 Doubles team of Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson had a tough 4th round match against Topeka West. The duo went down 1-4 when a rain delay stopped action for 2 hours. When the teams stepped back on the court, Hauserman and Johnson were able to regroup and comeback and win the match 8-6.

The #2 Doubles team of Jera Richardson and Megan Johnson had a tough opening round win over Lawrence Free State in a tiebreaker 8-7 (8-6). The team cruised the rest of the day.

Makenzi Carlgren and Ashley Sankey were the #3 Doubles team for the day. They struggled in their opening round match with Lawrence Free State winning 8-6, but also finished strong ending the day at 4-0.

The Lady Mustangs are back in action next Thursday at home in the Salina Central Quad.



Led by a sweep in the singles division, the Salina South girls tennis team edged Salina Central by a single point for the team title at the Central quadrangular Thursday. South finished with eight points, followed by Central (7), Marysville (5) and Hutchinson (4).

South’s Marisa Mitchell went 3-0 to take the No. 1 singles title, while teammate Katie Siemsen also won each of her three matches in No. 2 singles. South also got a runner-up finish in No. 1 doubles, where Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell went 2-1.

The only loss for Courbot-Darnell came against Central’s MacKenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman, who finished 3-0 and took first in No. 1 doubles. The Mustangs had runner-up finishes in both singles divisions, with Megan Johnson going 2-1 at No. 2 singles and Sydney Kossow finishing 1-2 in No. 1 singles. "I was very pleased with our performance, we came with a split squad and everyone played hard and improved throughout the day."

South also sent a team to the Junction City varsity quadrangular. The Cougars finished third as a team behind Lawrence Free State and Manhattan. South’s top finish came in No. 2 doubles, where Shea McAllister and Cameron Munk went 2-1 and took second.



It would have been understandable if Salina Central senior MacKenzie Morris was somewhat disheartened Saturday after she and doubles partner Meg Johnson dropped a match against Arkansas City. It was, after all, the first loss for Morris since her sophomore year, ending a string of 39 consecutive victories. The majority of that winning streak was achieved with former teammate Gabrielle Briggs, including a 34-0 record in 2012 on the way to a Class 5A state title. With Briggs moving on after graduation, Morris knows it will take time to settle in with a new partner. It took three seasons playing with Briggs before they achieved perfection.

Morris and Johnson came back to win their next two matches and finished the Central Duals Tournament with a 3-1 record, good for second place in the No. 1 doubles division. “We did OK, but that second match was definitely hard because I haven’t taken a loss in awhile,” Morris said. “It was hard to bounce back in our next match against Salina South, but overall, we got a lot better. “Meg worked a lot over the summer to improve her game, and she stepped up today and finished off points.” It was the first tournament for Morris and Johnson as partners.

Morris teamed with Morgan Hauserman to go 3-0 at Thursday’s Central quadrangular. “I was a little nervous at first just playing with MacKenzie,” said Johnson, a Mustang junior. “Obviously, she won state last year. “After we got warmed up, we worked well as a team. We had the one loss, but we finished strong.” Central coach Mike Goll has not yet decided who will be paired with Morris in the year’s biggest meets, starting with next week’s 14-team Central Invitational. “It will be up to coach to decide who I play with for the Salina Invitational,” Morris said. “I think it will come down to chemistry and whoever works best together, and what’s best for the team as far as scoring points.”

South senior Marisa Mitchell also finished second in No. 1 singles. Mitchell went 3-1 on the day, with her lone loss in her first match against Ark City’s Heidi Klaassen, 8-4. Mitchell went 1-3 against Klaassen a year ago, but that one win came in the seventhplace match at the 5A state tournament. “It was nice to see some larger schools here today like St. Thomas Aquinas and Ark City,” Mitchell said. “It’s a different level of game. “I thought I came out too tight, but then I loosened up and hit the strokes I know how to hit.” Staying loose and identifying where to attack an opponent are two keys for Mitchell during her final season. That and handling the weather conditions, which included an afternoon high of 103 degrees Saturday. “The heat was a big factor for everybody,” Mitchell said. “I know it will be getting cooler as we get through the end of summer, and by regionals we’ll be wrapped in blankets. “But I’m ready for the season. I did a lot of work in the offseason, and I have to bring that to the court. I know I have to have a game plan every match, and I have to know my opponent’s weaknesses.”

Arkansas City, ranked No. 3 in 5A, won 25 of 28 matches and finished the round-robin dual meet with a 4-0 record. The Bulldogs won five of the seven divisions. Central finished 3-1 to take second in the team standings, with its lone loss to Ark City. The Mustangs had a first place finish in No. 3 doubles from McKenzi Carlgren and Paige Hieger, who finished 4-0. Runner-up finishes for Central, in addition to Morris-Johnson, came in No. 4 singles from Ashley Sankey and the No. 2 doubles team of Jera Richardson and Megan Johnson. The Mustangs had 2-2 finishes in singles from Hauserman, Sydney Kossow and Brittany Blackim. “This tournament is always a good test of our depth, and that’s what I like about it,” Goll said. “It gives more kids a chance to compete at the varsity level, and that pays off when they get in critical matches late in the year.”

South finished 1-3 in its four dual matches, including 4-3 losses to both Central and Aquinas. Like Mitchell, Katie Siemsen went 3-1 and was runner-up at No. 2 singles. South had 2-2 finishes from Courtney Main at No. 4 singles, and the No. 2 doubles team of Sarah McConnell and Hunter Nowak. “Obviously, we didn’t get the results out of today that we were hoping for,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “We had two duals we lost by one match. If a break or two goes the other way, we would have been 3-1.”



The Salina Central tennis team travel to Newton Tuesday to compete in the Newton Invitational. The team was represented by its junior varsity members. The players made the most of the opportunity and improved throughout the day. The team was led by Ashley Sankey with an 8th place finish in singles. The top finish in doubles was by the duo of MaKenzi Carlgren and Paige Hieger for 9th place in doubles.

The Lady Mustangs will be back in action on Saturday as they host their own Salina Central Invitational at Salina Central and Oakdale Park.



Salina Central finished third among 12 teams competing Saturday at the Central Invitational, while Salina South was seventh in the team standings.
Central’s top finish came in doubles, where senior MacKenzie Morris and junior Morgan Hauserman reached the title match before falling to top-seeded Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzales of Arkansas City, 8-5.

After an opening round bye, Morris and Hauserman finished the day with a 3-1 record, including an 8-5 victory in the semifinals over McPherson’s Camry Holle and Emily Ediger. Central also had a 10th place finish in doubles from Meg Johnson and Jera Richardson.

Central had two full teams at the meet, with Morris-Hauserman and Johnson-Richardson competing for Central Maroon. The top finish in singles for a Central player came from sophomore Ashley Sankey, who went 3-2 and took 10th for the Mustang White. Central’s Sydney Kossow was 11th and teammate Brittany Blackim was 13th for the Maroon, while Megan Johnson placed 17th in singles, and freshmen Caroline Holgerson and Emma Norris were 16th in doubles for the White.

South senior Marisa Mitchell completed her day with a 3-1 record and a fifth-place finish in singles. Mitchell’s lone loss came in a tiebreaker in the quarterfinals against Olivia Medaris of Maize, 8-7 (7). She followed that with back-to-back wins, including an 8-4 victory over Mary Kate Rielley of Shawnee Mission Miege for fifth.

South’s Katie Siemsen also reached the singles quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Alexis Czapinski of Lawrence Free State. Siemsen had to face Mitchell in the consolation semifinals and eventually placed eighth.
South’s top finish in doubles came from Molly Courbot and Sarah McConnell, who fell in the opening round to Holgerson-Norris, but won three consecutive consolation matches to place 17th.



At Arkansas City, Salina South’s Marisa Mitchell notched the 100th victory of her career by going 3-2 on the day and placing sixth in the Arkansas City Invitational. She reached the century mark with her third victory of the day.

Central’s doubles team of MacKenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman finished fourth with a 3-2 record. South’s Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell (2-3) placed 12th, Central’s Meg Johnson and Brittany Blackim (2-3) 20th and South’s Sarah McConnell and Hunter Nowak (1-4) 24th.

Central’s Megan Johnson (2-3) placed 20th, South’s Katie Siemsen (3-2) 21st and Central’s Jera Richardson (2-3) 26th.

Andover won the team title with 100 points, Wichita Kapaun was second with 97 and Winfield third with 94. South placed 10th with 71 points and Central 11th with 64.


At Wichita, Salina Central’s Meg Johnson won the No. 2 singles title with a 3-0 record and MacKenzie Morris (2-1) took third in No. 1 singles Tuesday as the Mustangs finished third as a team in the Collegiate Invitational.

Winfield won with 25 points, followed by Collegiate’s blue team with 22 and Central with 20.

The Mustangs got a fifth-place finish from Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson (2-1) in No. 1 doubles and fourth from Brittany Blackim and Makenzi Carlgren (1-2) in No. 2 doubles.


Marisa Mitchell doesn’t remember the tournament, but she remembers the exact point where she had a season-altering epiphany.

“I lost a tiebreaker to a girl from Maize, but when I went to the net I hit (a volley) down the line, and that turned my season around,” said Mitchell, the Salina South senior, who dropped just two games Thursday on the way to the singles championship at the Salina South Invitational. “When you get your (first) serve in, at some point you have to go to the net.

“In singles, you can rally on the baseline and make the other person miss or you can go to the net and end the point earlier.”

The top-seeded Mitchell showed her volleying skills both in three 8-0 preliminary victories and an 8-2 championship victory over Salina Central’s Meg Johnson under windy conditions at Oakdale Park.

Salina Central’s MacKenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman won the doubles at the Central courts and led the Mustangs to the team title with 64 points. South was second with 57 and Maize third with 45.

It was a welcome victory for Mitchell, who won the tournament as a freshman but placed third last year.

“The last tournament (at Arkansas City) I played the top 6A and top 5A girls in the state, so it was good to have little different style of play,” she said. “Especially today with the weather factors.

“I thought I played pretty well.”

Johnson, who has played primarily doubles, extended Mitchell in several games, even if the score didn’t reflect it.

“It was pretty good for not having played singles that much,” she said. “Marisa Mitchell is an amazing player, so this should help me get better.

“I started off pretty rocky, but after a while I warmed up and I was pretty happy that I could stroke with her.”

South’s Katie Siemsen, who fell 8-4 to Johnson in the semifinals, came back in the third-place match to edge Abilene’s Kinsey Ford, 8-6.

In doubles, Morris and Hauserman made quick work of all four opponents, knocking off South’s Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell in the semifinals and Great Bend’s Macy Moyers and Morgan Francis in the final by identical 8-3 scores.

“That was probably the best overall tournament we’ve played together,” said Morris, who is teaming with Hauserman for the first time after three years and a state title with former partner Gabrielle Briggs. “We’ve started communicating so much better, where if one of us is down, the other one knows how to pick the other one up.

“We were down 1-2 to South and won 8-3, and the big thing was our communication.” Hauserman agreed.

“We’re starting to learn each other’s game and working with each other and encouraging each other,” she said. “We’re trying to see what works and what doesn’t, and finding different ways to help each other.”
Besides, their games mesh well.

“Our game is more of an attacking mode,” Morris said. “She’s definitely stronger with her backhand and me with the forehand, just like with Gabby (Briggs).”

The Mustangs also used their depth to win the team championship, with Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson adding a fifth place in doubles and Brittany Blackim sixth in singles.

“I think we have a good chance, all of us, to get to state,” Morris said.
For South, Courbot and Darnell took fourth in doubles, losing 8-7 (6) in the third-place match to Great Bend’s Brianna Schartz and Jami McVay.


The Lady Mustang tennis team traveled to Topeka on Tuesday and competed in the Topeka West Invitational. Salina Central completed the contest with a third place finish. Winning the tournament was 6A power Washburn Rural and runnerup was another strong 6A team from Blue Valley West.

The Mustangs were led by their Doubles team of senior MacKenzie Morris and junior Morgan Hauserman. The duo fell in the championship match to Nicolae and Piyassaphan of Washburn Rural 5-8.

Freshman Brittany Blackim was able to bring home a third place finish in #2 Singles. The Mustangs also had two fifth place finishes from #1 Singles player junior Meg Johnson and #2 Doubles team of sophomores Jera Richardson and Ashley Sankey.

Salina Central is back in action next Monday as they compete in the AVCTL League Championships in Salina.


If MacKenzie Morris had been allowed to script the final home match of her high school career, she would have written it up exactly as it played out late Monday afternoon. Morris, a Salina Central senior, teamed with junior Morgan Hauserman to win the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League (Division I) doubles title on the Central High School courts. Morris and Hauserman not only won the championship match, but did so without dropping a game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Newton’s Hannah Carlgren and Serena Wong.

With the Class 5A regional scheduled for Emporia on Saturday and the 5A state meet at Arkansas City the following week, Morris played her final match at home on Centre Court East, the same spot where she has finished numerous tournaments in four seasons with the Central varsity. “I can’t imagine my last match at home going any better,” Morris said. “It was exactly how I wanted it to go and that made it so much more sweet. “I feel like now I’ll be so much more at ease (at regional and state). This meet there was so much pressure because I wanted to finish with a league championship, and I knew if I lost my last match on these courts it would be really painful.”

Morris, the lone senior on the Central roster, and her Mustangs teammates nearly came away with a tournament team title as well. Maize successfully defended its AVCTL championship with 39 points, followed closely by Central (37) and Derby (35). Salina South was fourth with 29. Morris-Hauserman were the tournament’s top seed and played that way, dropping a total of three games in their three matches Monday. Newton’s Carlgren and Wong had their chances early with six game-point opportunities in the opening set with the Mustangs, but were unable to capitalize on any of the six. “That’s something we struggled with at the beginning of the year but now we can finish games,” said Morris, who is a defending 5A state doubles champion but is playing her first season with Hauserman. “That 6- 0, 6-0 score is awesome, but it doesn’t really show how close it was. Newton took us to deuces and add outs, but we were able to finish all of them.” “We were definitely able to finish a lot of games that could have gone either way,” Hauserman said. “We’re a lot more comfortable together now. We’ve gotten to know each other’s game and we’ve gotten a lot smoother.” The Mustangs also showed their versatility in the second set. A lob from Morris landed just inside the baseline for game point to make it 2-0, while Hauserman’s winner at the net accounted for the final point in the third game. Hauserman then went to the service line and had three consecutive first-serve winners, as Central won 12 of the final 14 points in the match. “Compared to where we came from at the beginning of the season,” Morris said, “it’s been awesome to see how much improvement we’ve made in a couple of months.”

Although she wasn’t playing on her home court, South senior Marisa Mitchell won her final high school match in Salina on Monday. Mitchell lost to top seed and eventual champion Hannah Hills of Maize in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-4, but finished the meet with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Morgan Hughes of Derby in the third-place match. Mitchell and Hills were tied 4-4 in the second set and went to numerous deuces in the ninth game before Hills held on, finishing the match one game later. “That’s the second time I’ve played her during this season and the first time I didn’t get a game on her,” Mitchell said. “I came back and challenged her in the second set and it went back-and-forth and back-and-forth.” Mitchell suffered from a severe stomach illness last week that forced her to default from her final two matches during Saturday’s tournament at McPherson. She didn’t want that to derail her from finishing strong in her final three high school tournaments, starting with the league meet. “Ever since I got back from McPherson I’ve been thinking about today,” Mitchell said. “I woke up this morning and decided I was going to go for it. “I was seeded fourth today and I got third, plus I ended my final tournament (in Salina) with a win, which is awesome. Now I’m ready for regional.”

South’s doubles team of senior Molly Courbot and junior Sophia Darnell went 3-1 and finished fifth, including a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Central sophomores Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson in the fifth-place match. Central junior Meg Johnson placed sixth in singles, while freshman teammate Brittany Blackim was one spot back in seventh. South seniors Katie Siemsen and Sarah McConnell took ninth in doubles, while Cougar senior Courtney Main was 10th in singles.


EMPORIA—Salina Central’s doubles team of MacKenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman won a Class 5A regional title Saturday and will have one of the top seeds at next week’s state tournament. Salina Central finished second among seven schools in the regional team standings and qualified five of their six regional entries for state. Salina South was third in the regional and will be represented at state by one doubles team and one player in singles.

Morris, a senior, and Hauserman, a junior, combined to go 3-0 during the regional tournament at the Emporia High School courts. That included rallying from a set down to defeat Salina South’s Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell in the title match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. This is the first season for Morris and Hauserman as doubles partners. Morris is a defending state champion in doubles but was paired with former Mustang Gabrielle Briggs a year ago. Courbot and Darnell have also qualified for state and, as a regional runner-up, will receive a first-round bye when the 5A state tournament begins Friday at Arkansas City.

The top six singles players and top six doubles team from each 5A regional advance to the state tournament. South will also be represented at state by senior Marisa Mitchell, who went 2-1 on Saturday and finished third at regional. Mitchell’s lone loss came in the semifinals to Shawnee Heights Madison Lysaught, but she ended the day with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Seki Anderson of Emporia in the third-place match.

Additional state qualifiers for Central are Meg Johnson in singles and the doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson. Johnson came back after a quarterfinal loss to win her final two matches, including a victory in a super tiebreaker over Maddie Foster of Shawnee Heights, 4-6, 6-3, 10-8, for fifth place. Kossow and Richardson also fell in the quarterfinals, but like Johnson, ended the day with back-to-back victories. They defeated Brenlee Yingling and Sarah Knight of Topeka Seaman in the fifth-place match, 6-2, 6-2.

Central’s Brittany Blackim and South’s Hunter Nowak both finished 1-2 in singles but did not advance to state. Blackim was eliminated in a third set tiebreaker to the #4 seed Madison Foster of Shawnee Heights. South’s doubles team of Katie Siemsen and Sarah McConnell lost their opening-round match and were eliminated. Emporia won the regional team title with 17 points, followed by Central with 14 and South with 12.


Inclement weather forced the postponement of all four Kansas girls high school state tennis meets scheduled to begin Friday.

The Class 5A state meet, which includes players from Salina South and Salina Central, will now begin at 9 a.m. today at the Arkansas City High School courts. The two-day tournament will continue on Sunday, with matches that day also beginning at 9 a.m.

The Class 4A meet will be played today and Sunday at Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka. Start time both days will be 10:30 a.m.
The Class 3-2-1A meet will also be held today and Sunday at Walter Blake Tennis Complex in Pratt. Matches will begin at 9 a.m. both days.

The Class 6A meet at Maize South High School will be held today and Sunday. Today’s matches begin at 10:30 a.m., with a 9 a.m. start Sunday.

Pairings for the 5A state tournament were determined before play was postponed Friday. South senior Marisa Mitchell (25-8) will open against St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Sarah Petty (8-13), while Central junior Meg Johnson (13-5) will meet Pittsburg junior Katy Short (27-7) in her first-round match.

Central’s doubles team of sophomores Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson (10-5) face Andover juniors Abby Kaff and Abby White (14-7) in the opening round. Central’s doubles team of Morgan Hauserman and MacKenzie Morris and the South doubles team of Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell both earned first-round byes.


ARKANSAS CITY — Five Salina athletes have advanced to the final day of the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament.

Salina South’s Marisa Mitchell will play in the consolation quarterfinals of the singles division today at Arkansas City High School. South’s Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell, and Salina Central’s Morgan Hauserman and MacKenzie Morris will all compete in the consolation quarterfinals in doubles.

Each of the Salina entries can finish as high as fifth and no worse than 12th.

Courbot-Darnell and Hauserman-Morris both advanced to the championship quarterfinals before losing for the first time during Saturday’s opening day of competition.

After an first-round bye, Hauserman-Morris had little trouble in the second round, downing Leavenworth’s Sydnie Lundy and Meagan Brucker 6-1, 6-1. Their hopes of advancing to the semifinals were dashed with a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Great Bend’s Macy Moyers and Morgan Francis.

It was the first loss at state for Morris in two years. She was a doubles state champion a year ago with former teammate Gabrielle Briggs. Now 22-5, Hauserman-Morris will play Valley Center’s Katie Bauguess and Jill Seidl in today’s consolation quarterfinals.

Courbot and Darnell (16-16) also had a bye in the opening round, then defeated Wichita Carroll’s Breckyn Steven and Abby Garcia 6-3, 6-1 to move into the quarterfinals.

The Cougar duo faced top-seeded Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt of Wichita Kapaun, where a 6-0, 6-3 loss dropped them into the consolation bracket. Their first match today will be against Andover’s Abby Kaff and Abby White.

Mitchell’s day began with a 6-0, 6-1 opening round win over Sarah Petty of St. Thomas Aquinas, but the South senior stumbled in the second round against Andover’s Grace Ball, 6-2, 6-4.

Mitchell then faced back-to-back must-win situations in the consolation bracket to keep her season alive. She defeated Lansing’s Colby Mortensen 9-1, and then downed Katie Rathjen of Lansing 9-4 to reach the consolation quarterfinals and guarantee a spot in the final 12.

Now 28-9, Mitchell will open today against Blue Valley Southwest junior Taylor Westrom, who was a regional champion last week.
Central’s Meg Johnson and the Mustang doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson were eliminated with a pair of losses Saturday.


ARKANSAS CITY — Salina Central and Salina South finished their 2013 tennis seasons with an 8th- place finish (South) and a 9th-place finish (Central) in the Class 5A girls state tournament played at the Louderback Family Tennis Center.

Central had the top finisher of the Salina schools as MacKenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman took sixth in doubles. Morris and Hauserman were defeated by Abby Kaff and Abby White of team champion Andover, 9-4.

“It was tough to come back from the semifinal loss to play in the consolation bracket,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “We played it down to the last point. In the big picture, it was a good year for the program. We only lose MacKenzie for next year.”

South had top finishers in both singles and doubles. Four-time state singles qualifier Marisa Mitchell finished 10th as she lost to Seki Anderson of Emporia, 9-4.

“This was the deepest singles field Marisa has faced in four years, and she finished in the top 10,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “She knows how good the tournament was.”

The South doubles team of Molly Courbot and Sophia Darnell won the 11th- place match, 9-5 over Sydnie Lundy and Meagan Brucker of Leavenworth.

“Molly and Sophia qualified last year and didn’t get two,” Stuart said. “It was their goal to play on the second day after playing well on the first day. Molly played in four state tournaments.”

Andover was the tournament champion within 40 points, winning by two points over Wichita Carroll. Dohee Lee of Andover won the singles championship over Courtney Lubbers of Carroll, 6-1, 6-4. In doubles, Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt of Wichita Kapaun won over Abby Burr and Makenna Gonzales of Arkansas City, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4


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