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Salina Central won three of four divisions and took the team title ahead of Salina South at the Salina singles quadrangular Thursday.

The Mustangs finished with 11 team points while the Cougars followed with eight in the varsity season opener for both teams. Wichita Kapaun was third and Sacred Heart fourth.

South’s Sophia Darnell took the No. 1 singles title with a 3-0 record, with Central’s Meg Johnson the runner-up. Darnell defeated Johnson 8-6 in their head-to-head match.

Central took each of the remaining three divisions, with Ashley Sankey (No. 2 singles), Emalie Hassler (No. 3) and Karley Benson (No. 4) each going 3-0. South’s Hunter Nowak was second behind Sankey, while teammate Jessica Smith was also second at No. 3 singles.


At Topeka, Salina Central placed second in the Shawnee Heights Doubles Invitational. The Mustangs scored 12 points, one behind Lansing. Topeka West was third with 10.

Central’s No. 3 team of Ashley Sankey and Paige Heiger finished first with a 5-0 record. The No. 2 team of Caroline Holgerson and Emma Norris was 2-1 and placed second. The No. 1 team of Brittany Blackim and Megan Johnson was 3-2 and took third.

Central will entertain Salina South, Hutchinson and Marysville in a quad Thursday.


The Mustangs were led by a first-place finish in No. 2 doubles from the team of Caroline Holgerson and Paige Hieger at Central High.

Holgerson and Hieger were 3-0 on the day. Morgan Hauserman placed second in No. 1 singles (2-1), Emalie Hassler third in No. 2 singles (1-2), and Sydney Kossow and Jara Richardson second in No. 1 doubles (2-1) for the Mustangs.

Central had eight points with Salina South taking second with six. Hutchinson and Marysville each had five points.

South’s Sophie Darnell was the No. 1 singles champion (3-0) while Shae McAllister (2-1) placed second in No. 2 singles. The Cougars’ No. 1 doubles team of Hunter Nowak and Jessica Smith (1-2) was third, and the No. 2 doubles team of Cameron Munk and Lacy Wilcox (0-3) fourth.

Central plays host to its dual tournament on Saturday.


Morgan Hauserman isn’t so concerned about slow starts, as long as they continue to lead to strong finishes.

Hauserman is getting accustomed to playing singles for the first time in her high school tennis career. The Salina Central senior took another positive step in the transition with a second-place finish in No. 2 singles Saturday at the Central Dual Tournament.

Hauserman went 3-1 on the day, with an 8-5 loss to Arkansas City’s Stephanie Cabrera the only setback on the day.

“It went good for the most part, but I did have some matches where I got off to slow starts,” Hauserman said. “I’ve only played two meets this year and that’s been typical, since I’ve played doubles the last three years and I’m new to singles.”

It was Hauserman’s second runner-up finish in as many meets, though in Thursday’s season opener she played No. 1 singles for Central. Now 5-2 overall, Hauserman and senior Meg Johnson could alternate at the No. 1 and 2 singles much of the season.
“Meg and I are both pretty solid players,” Hauserman said. “I think the game plan is to play us both at singles and play us at both No. 1 and 2 so we can experience both.”

Johnson finished 2-2 at No. 1 singles Saturday and placed third in that division. Central entries earned top-three medals in each of the tournament’s seven divisions (four singles, three doubles).

Central also went 3-1 in the dual format, with its only loss coming against Arkansas City, 4-3. Ark City is ranked No. 3 in Class 5A. Central’s day did include a 5-2 win over Emporia, a team ranked No. 4 in 5A.

“It was a great day,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “It was a chance for a lot of our younger girls to play, and we saw a lot of success.

“The big thing I want to see is if the kids are playing better at the end of the day than they were when we began, and today they were.”

In addition to Johnson and Hauserman, Central had first-place finishes at No. 3 singles from Ashley Sankey and No. 4 singles from Karley Benson. Both finished the day 4-0.
The Mustangs’ No. 1 doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson went 3-1 and placed second. Their lone loss came against Arkansas City’s Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzalez, who placed second at the 5A state meet a year ago.

Sophomores Caroline Holgerson and Paige Hieger were second at No. 3 doubles, with senior Megan Johnson and sophomore Brittany Blackim taking third at No. 2 doubles.
“(Kossow and Richardson) played pretty well to go 3-1, and their only loss is to last year’s state runner-up,” Goll said. “They have to know they are playing good people and playing right with them.”

South went 0-4 in duals, including a narrow 4-3 loss to Emporia.

South’s top finish came in No. 1 doubles where seniors Sophia Darnell and Hunter Nowak, paired together for the first time this season, went 2-2 and finished third. Darnell is 6-0 in singles matches and will likely play singles most of the season.

“This tournament had three teams that are state ranked and the other was St. Thomas Aquinas, so it was a tough tournament,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “We had six freshmen and sophomores playing and they competed all day long.

“They played to the best of their abilities and at the end of the day, that’s all I can ask for.”
South freshman Tesa Wilcox went 1-3 at No. 3 singles. The Cougars’ No. 2 doubles team of Shea McCallister and Cameron Munk also went 1-3, as did the No. 3 doubles team of Melissa Mahoney and Lacy Wilcox.


At Newton, Salina Central compiled 27 points in the Newton Invitational.

Morgan Hauserman was the Mustangs’ top finisher, taking fifth in singles with a 3-1 record. Ashley Sankey placed ninth, also going 3-1.

In doubles play, Caroline Holgerson and Paige Hieger placed 13th with a 2-2 record. Emma Norris and Emalie Hassler placed 14th, going 1-3.

Andover won the team championship with 56 points, followed by Winfield with 49 points, and Derby with 42 points.

The Mustangs will be back in action on Saturday as they host the 16 team Salina Central Invitational in Salina.


Salina Central’s girls knew they couldn’t slug it out individually against a loaded field on their home courts.

Instead, the Mustangs unleashed their entire stable.

With all four of its entries placing in the top 10, the Mustang Maroon team showed its depth Saturday to take second in the Salina Central Invitational.

McPherson rode a strong doubles showing to the championship with 109 points, followed by Central with 101. Singles champion Gwyn Schuler led Maize South to third place and doubles winners Ally Bush and Makenna Gonzales helped a shorthanded Arkansas City team take fourth.

“It was awesome,” Central coach Mike Goll said of his team’s performance in the 16-team tournament that included two full Mustang squads. “Especially when we lost Meg (Johnson) this morning at 8.

“We don’t have any knockout stars that were going to take (individual) titles, but we have 12 girls who are all good. To get second in this tournament was awesome.”

Senior Morgan Hauserman, who moved up a spot in the Mustangs’ pecking order when Johnson got sick, rolled into the singles semifinals before falling 8-1 to Schuler. She then bounced back to take down Pittsburg’s Katie Short, 8-3, for third place.

“I was really proud of how I played,” said Hauserman, who placed in doubles last year at the Class 5A state tournament but has made the transition to singles this fall. “Other than (the semifinal) I played really well.

“This was the fourth meet I’ve played singles and I’m getting a lot more comfortable.”
The Mustangs also got a ninth-place singles finish from junior Ashley Sankey, who took Johnson’s place. Juniors Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson finished sixth in doubles and the duo of sophomore Brittany Blackim and senior Megan Johnson was 10th.

In singles, Maize South’s Schuler was on the ropes against Mary Kate Rielly of Bishop Miege, trailing 6-3 before rallying to take the last five games for an 8-6 victory.
“I just loosened up and played my game,” Schuler, last year’s sixth-place state finisher in Class 5A, said of the turnaround. “My game got me to that point and nervousness wasn’t going to help me win points.
“I have to be aggressive and go for my shots. I can’t be passive.”
Rielly, who didn’t drop more than three games in her first four matches, took fifth last year at 4A state.

Doubles champions Burr and Gonzales were not thrilled with their performance in the finals, but it was still good enough for an 8-6 victory over defending 4A state champions Camry Holle and Emily Ediger of McPherson.

“The rest of the day we were really efficient,” Burr said of four straight 8-0 victories that put them in the finals. “We were just kind of off in the last match, but it was a good test for us.”
Burr and Gonzales, both seniors, were runners-up a year ago at 5A state.

Holle and Emily Ediger beat teammates Ellea Ediger and Katlyn Reifschneider, 8-5, in the semifinals to lead a two-three Bullpup finish in doubles. McPherson also got seventh in singles with Rachel Ivers.

Salina South’s top finisher was senior Sophia Darnell, who reached the singles quarterfinals before losing 8-6 to Hauserman and ended up eighth.



At Goddard, the Salina Central girls tennis team won 15 of 16 matches Tuesday to take first place at the Goddard Invitational.

The Mustangs finished with 29 points in the eight-team meet, topping runner-up Goddard with 21 and Maize in third with 17.

Central swept the singles competition, with senior Morgan Hauserman taking first in No. 1 singles and senior Meg Johnson winning No. 2 singles. Both finished the day with 4-0 records.

Juniors Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson went 3-1 and took third in No. 1 doubles, with their lone loss in pool play. Sophomore Brittany Blackim and senior Megan Johnson were also unbeaten in four matches to win No. 2 doubles.

The Mustangs are back in action on Thursday as they travel to Derby.



At Derby, the Salina Central girls tennis team won its second tournament title in three days, topping the seven-team field Thursday at the Derby Invitational.

Central also took first at the Goddard Invitational on Tuesday.

The Mustangs finished with 25 team points, edging Wichita Collegiate and Derby with 22 points each. Central won 13 of its 16 matches in the tournament.

Senior Meg Johnson went 3-1 and finished third in No. 1 singles, while junior Ashley Sankey was the winner of No. 2 singles with a 4-0 record.

Central sophomores Caroline Holgerson and Paige Hieger teamed to go 2-2 and place fourth in No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Emma Norris and freshman Karley Benson claimed the No. 2 doubles title by finishing unbeaten in four matches.

The Mustangs are back in action on Tuesday as they travel to Wichita to play in the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.



At Wichita, Salina Central’s No. 2 doubles team of Brittany Blackim and Megan Johnson won all three of their matches and won their division at the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.

Central placed second in the team standings with 22 points. Winfield was the team champion with 28 points.

Morgan Hausermann and Meg Johnson placed second in No. 1 and No. 2 singles for Central, each going 2-1. The No. 1 doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richarson placed sixth with a 1-2 record.

The Mustangs will play in the Salina South Invitational on Thursday.



Meg Johnson’s best chance for success in her final match on Thursday was to continue doing exactly what she had been doing since her first match.

The Salina Central senior advanced to the singles championship match of the Salina South Invitational at Oakdale Park, where Johnson’s consistent play lifted her to an 8-3 victory over South senior Sophia Darnell in the final.

“I played pretty steady,” Johnson said. “I knew I had to stay consistent. When I try to do too much, that’s when it doesn’t go well.

“Darnell hits it hard so I just had to get it back. I wasn’t going to overpower her so I had to be solid.”

Johnson was not the only Central player to have success Thursday. All four Mustang entries reached the semifinals, including Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson taking second in doubles.

Central’s doubles team of Brittany Blackim and Megan Johnson suffered their only loss of the day in the semifinals against Kossow-Richardson and finished third, while Ashley Sankey dropped her semifinal to Meg Johnson and eventually finished fourth in singles.

That was plenty for the Mustangs to win the tournament’s team title. Central’s 69 points topped runner-up Maize with 47. Abilene was a close third with 46, with Salina South another point back to finish fourth in the eight-team tournament.

Meg Johnson broke Darnell’s serve in three of the first six games of the singles title match and led 5-1. Darnell took two of the next four games, but Johnson closed it out without giving up a point in the final game.

“It was a battle,” Johnson said. “I lost to her earlier in the season and I knew this might be my last shot to beat her before regional.”

“I thought I played pretty well today, but then I started giving up games in the last match,” Darnell said. “(Johnson) played really well. She’s really consistent.”
Darnell advanced to the title match with an 8-5 semifinal win over Abilene’s Marissa Schardein, while Johnson defeated Sankey 8-4 in their semifinal. Schardein ended the tournament with an 8-4 win over Sankey in the third-place match.

Kossow and Richardson were coming off a disappointing performance at the Wichita Collegiate Invitational on Tuesday, where the Mustangs finished 1-2 in No. 1 doubles and took sixth.

Their three wins on the way to the title match included an 8-1 semifinal victory over Blackim-Johnson, but they could not stay with top seeded Morgan Francis and Macy Moyers from Great Bend in the final.

Francis and Moyers did not lose a game in four matches Thursday, including an 8-0 win over Kossow-Richardson.

“I think we stepped it up today,” Kossow said. “We had been disappointed with how we’ve been playing lately, because we knew we weren’t playing like we know how to play.

“We both decided we needed to step it up and we did, so we’re pleased even though it was second place.”

“Tuesday we had some downfalls,” Richardson said. “We didn’t play up to speed, but we came back to practice yesterday and worked really, really hard.
“We came back today and showed up to play.”

Blackim and Johnson finished their day 3-1 after an 8-0 victory over Junction City in the third-place match.

South’s Hunter Nowak won her final match of the day and took seventh. The Cougars doubles team of Peyton Kavanagh and Jessica Smith finished eighth, while South teammates Jessica Coleman and Tesa Wilcox took 11th.



At Topeka, the Mustangs compiled 39 points, finishing behind only Washburn Rural in the 11-team Topeka West Invitational.

Meg Johnson placed third in No. 2 singles with a 2-1 record for Central while Karley Benson was fifth with a 3-1 slate. Morgan Hausermann was fourth in No. 1 singles with a 1-2 record.

Brittany Blackim and Megan Johnson finished fourth in No. 2 doubles with a 1-2 record. Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson finished sixth in No. 1 doubles with a 2-2 record, and Caroline Holgerson and Paige Hieger ninth after going 2-1 on the day.

The Mustangs return to action on Monday as they travel to Valley Center for the AVCTL League Championships.



VALLEY CENTER — Morgan Hauserman’s upset victory over top-seeded Ashley Sherrow meant more than a singles championship Monday for Salina Central.

It also propelled the Mustangs to the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division I team title.
Hauserman, the No. 2 seed, beat Derby’s Sherrow, 6-4, 6-4, in the finals to turn the team race in Central’s favor.

She got plenty of help when fourth-seeded Meg Johnson handled Charlotte Gmeiner of Newton, 6-2, 6-0, in the third-place match.

Throw in a fourth-place finish from Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson plus sixth from Brittany Blackim and Megan Johnson in doubles and the Mustangs had just enough to edge Derby, 43 points to 42.

Salina South took fifth with 19 points.

Sherrow needed a super tiebreaker to get past Meg Johnson in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 10-7, but fell in straight sets to Hauserman.

South got 11 of its points from Sophia Darnell and Hunter Nowak, who rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 victory over Kossow and Richardson in the third-place doubles match.

Derby’s Mackenzie Hughes and Kourtney Richardson won the doubles title.



Morgan Hauserman tried to approach it the same way she had countless others with Meg Johnson on the same Salina Central tennis courts.

That she came out on top was just icing on the cake.

“It was good for both of us to know that we were in,” Hauserman said after turning back Central teammate Johnson, 6-2, 6-1, Saturday to place third in the singles draw of their Class 5A regional. “It’s not very fun to play your teammate, but I think we’re both happy to be going to state.”

Hauserman and Johnson plus the doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson will represent the Mustangs at the 5A state tournament Friday and Saturday in Emporia. Kossow and Richardson knocked off Andover’s Madi Hearne and Lena Zadruzynski, 6-1, 6-4, in their third-place match.

Andover handily won the team title behind a one-two singles finish from Dohee Lee and Grace Ball. The Trojans, who will attempt to defend their 5A state championship in Emporia, finished with 23 points to 15 for Central. Salina South tied for fifth with Sophia Darnell and Hunter Nowak qualifying sixth in doubles.

Hauserman, who placed sixth in doubles at state last year, was seeded fifth in the regional with Johnson at No. 6. Hauserman edged No. 4 seed Claire Calvert of Andover Central, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in her quarterfinal while Johnson advanced to the semis by knocking off third-seeded Colby Fugit, also of Andover Central, 6-3, 6-1.

“I’m very happy with the way I played today,” Hauserman said. “Usually I get very tense in those situations, but today I stayed relaxed.”

Hauserman was no match for Lee, who cruised, 6-0, 6-1 in the semis before beating Ball, 6-4, 6-0, for the title. But she regrouped to dominate the third-place match against Johnson.

“I think in the last match, consistency was a key factor,” Hauserman said.
Johnson was pleased to get back to state after failing to place last year.
“We play each other in practice every day, so we’re used to how we play,” she said of Hauserman. “I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t closer.”

Lee, the defending 5A singles champion, had her hands full in the first set against Ball before pulling away for a 6-4, 6-0 championship victory.

“It’s kind of awkward (to face a teammate) because we practice together and work hard together,” Lee said of the final. “(Ball) played really well defensively in the first set and played really smart.

“I tried some different angles in the second set and was more aggressive.”

In doubles, Central’s Kossow and Richardson claimed a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) quarterfinal victory over South’s Darnell and Nowak after losing to them Monday at the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League tournament.

“It was fun,” Richardson said. “We beat South before and they beat us at league, so it was our turn.”

They then fell to champions Morgan Francis and Macy Moyers in the semis, 6-1, 6-2, before bouncing back to take third.

“We’ve already been (to state) once, and we practiced all summer together,” Kossow said. “We were hoping to play together again.”

Francis and Moyers, who were fourth at state last year, had little trouble in their doubles final, knocking off Andover’s Caitlyn White and Robyn Fritze, 6-1, 6-0.

South’s Darnell and Nowak took the first set from third-seeded Savannah Sailors and Serena Wong in the sixth-place match but couldn’t hold on, falling 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.

“The goal today was to get out of regionals and qualify,” South coach Ryan Stuart said of seniors Darnell and Nowak. “They’re still alive, and now we’ll see that they can do (at state).”

It will be the third trip to state for Darnell, who teamed with Molly Courbot for 11th place last year. Nowak is a first-time qualifier.



The Salina Central girls won their league title by the narrowest of margins, then did about as well as their coach could have hoped in a loaded Class 5A tennis regional last week.

The Mustangs look for another strong finish in their season finale, as they compete in the 5A state tournament starting at 11 a.m. today at Emporia High School.

The first three rounds in the championship bracket and two rounds of consolation matches will be held today. The tournament will be completed Saturday, including semifinals and championship matches.

Central qualified seniors Morgan Hauserman and Meg Johnson for the meet’s singles division, while juniors Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson will compete in the doubles bracket.

The Mustangs edged Derby by a single point at the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League meet back on Oct. 6, then finished second to No. 1 ranked Andover in last week’s regional meet at Central.

“Winning the AVCTL title was a great achievement for them,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “It took everyone doing their job to accomplish it.

“Finishing as 5A regional runner-up was a great accomplishment as well. We had arguably the toughest and deepest regional in 5A, consisting of among others, the defending state champions from Andover. We competed well and positioned ourselves for a nice run at state in Emporia.”

Salina South will be represented at state by the doubles team of Sophie Darnell and Hunter Nowak. The Cougars finished sixth at the Salina regional last week.
“Getting anybody out of last Saturday’s regional is definitely an achievement,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “This is my eighth year and in my opinion, that’s the hardest regional we’ve had.”

All four Central state qualifiers were participants at state a year ago. Hauserman played doubles at state with then partner MacKenzie Morris and they teamed to place sixth at the 2013 tournament.

Hauserman has a record of 25-8 this season and finished third at regional, one spot ahead of Johnson (24-9).

“Our seniors have been great leaders all season, and I expect that to be the case through this weekend,” Goll said.

Kossow and Richardson are 22-13 this season and finished third at regional, where their lone loss came against Great Bend’s unbeaten doubles team of Morgan Francis and Macy Moyers.

Central enters the state tournament No. 6 in the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association 5A rankings and placed ninth as a team at last year’s state meet.

“I am very proud of these young ladies,” Goll said. “We have had a great season and are currently ranked No. 6 in the state. Our goal is to play ourselves into a top five finish at state.”

Recent pairing

Both Darnell and Nowak are seniors for South. After placing 11th at the 5A state meet a year ago with then partner Molly Courbot, Darnell played singles for much of the 2014 season.

Nowak and Darnell have a record of 7-5 this season. Of the 24 doubles teams to qualify for the 5A state tournament, only one other team has played fewer matches together than Nowak and Darnell.

“Sophie has played mostly singles and she made the switch with Hunter late in the year,” Stuart said. “They played well enough to take third at league and qualify from that regional.
“Now they have to go in with the right attitude. They can beat a lot of people. After the top four or five teams, everyone should be real competitive. This is their last chance to play high school tennis and I look for them to play well this weekend.”



EMPORIA — Salina Central’s Morgan Hauserman and the Mustangs’ doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson lost their quarterfinal matches at the Class 5A state girls tennis tournament Friday.

After a 6-0, 6-1 opening-round win over Sydney LeFevre of Goddard, Hauserman knocked off regional runner-up Taylor Westrom of Blue Valley Southwest 7-5, 6-4 in the second round before losing to regional champion Ashley DeBauge of Emporia in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-1.

Central’s other singles qualifier, Meg Johnson, opened with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Breann Gerstenkorn of Maize South, but fell 6-1, 6-4 to regional champion Brylin Staats of Blue Valley West for the opportunity to reach the quarterfinals. Johnson was then eliminated, 9-2, by Madison Lysaught of Shawnee Heights in the consolation bracket.

The tandem of Kossow and Richardson cruised past Seaman’s Katie Andrews and Shyanne Osterhaus, 6-0, 6-0, then bounced Valley Center’s Jill Seidl and Rachel Binau in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. But the Mustang juniors ran into a buzz-saw in the quarterfinals, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Ark City seniors Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzales, who take a 38-1 record into today’s semifinals.

Salina South’s Sophie Darnell and Hunter Nowak, who placed sixth at the rugged Salina Central regional last week, knocked off Seaman’s Sarah Knight and Peyton Porting, 3-6, 6-4 (10-5), then pushed regional runners-up Morgan Fangman and Hannah Smith of St. James before coming up short, 6-4, 7-6 (2). The South duo still has a chance to finish as high as fifth following a pair of 9-2 consolation victories.

Play continues today at Emporia High School at 9 a.m.



EMPORIA — Salina Central received points from all of its qualifiers to finish fifth in the team standings at the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament Saturday at Emporia High School.

Led by an eighth-place finish by senior Morgan Hauserman in singles, the Mustangs totaled 15 points and trailed first-place Andover (46), Wichita Carroll (37), Arkansas City (24) and Emporia (19). Central placed ninth as a team in 2013.

“I’m just very pleased with everybody’s play,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “Especially the fact that it took a true team effort to place fifth and everybody was able to score points for us."

“We set our goal for a top five finish and we finished in the top five.”

Hauserman won her first two matches on Friday before a quarterfinal loss placed her in the consolation bracket. A victory over Pittsburg’s Katy Short guaranteed Hauserman a top-eight finish, before ending her season with back-to-back 9-4 losses to Gwyneth Schuler of Maize South and Leavenworth’s Meagan Brucker.

Hauserman completed her season with a record of 28-11. Teammate Meg Johnson went 2-2 in the tournament, earning the Mustangs two team points and finishing her senior year at 26-11.

Central’s doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson went 3-3 in the two-day tourney and placed 11th.

Kossow and Richardson (25-16) also reached the tourney quarterfinals Friday before falling to eventual champions Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzales of Arkansas City.

The Mustang juniors ended their season with a 9-8 (2) victory over Emporia’s Ashten Scheller and Chelsea Herrate in the 11th-place match. Two of Kossow-Richardson’s three losses in the tournament came in a tiebreaker.

“The girls were a little disappointed and it’s good to see they wanted to finish higher as individuals,” Goll said. “The good thing was as a team, we did everything we needed to do to pick up that fifth-place spot.”

Goll added, "Their are alot of teams that would line up for the opportunity to have our team resume; League Champions, Regional Runnerup, and Top Five in the State."

Andover successfully defended its team title, while Carroll was the 5A runner-up for the second consecutive year. Salina South finished 12th with eight points.

South tandem 8th

South’s Sophia Darnell and Hunter Nowak kept their season alive with three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket, and the Cougar seniors eventually placed eighth in the doubles competition.

Darnell and Nowak won their opener on Friday, but fell to Morgan Fangman and Hanna Smith of St. James Academy in a close second-round match, 6-4, 7-6 (2). The Cougars win streak included a 9-5 victory over Arkansas City in the consolation quarterfinals, before another loss to Fangman-Smith put Darnell-Nowak in the seventh-place match.

The South duo ended the season with a 9-5 loss to Carroll’s Ashley Hulsig and Abby Garcia. After finishing sixth at regional last week, Darnell and Nowak were eighth at state and finished the season 11-8.

“It was kind of an experiment, putting them together late in the year,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “I couldn’t be more proud of two kids. That was two seniors who came together and peaked at absolutely the perfect time.

“To take sixth at regional and turn around and get eighth at state is pretty phenomenal.”

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