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Salina Central went 10-2 on the day as a team to take the Salina Singles title on Thursday. Senior Ashley Sankey took the #1 division with a 3-0 record. Also going 3-0 at #3 Singles was Sophomore Karley Benson, as well as Freshman Grace Holgerson in the #4 Singles division. Junior Brittany Blackim was able to finish 3rd at 1-2 in the #2 Division.

As a team the Mustangs took the title with 10 points, Valley Center was a point behind at 9 points, third was Salina South with 4 points, and in 4th place was Sacred Heart with 1 point. Salina Central is back in action Saturday as they travel to Topeka for the Shawnee Heights Doubles Invitational.


At Topeka, Salina Central finished unbeaten in 12 matches to win the Shawnee Heights Doubles Invitational on Saturday at the Lake Shawnee courts.

Juniors Paige Hieger and Emma Norris finished 4-0 to win the tournament's #1 division. Junior Caroline Holgerson and sophomore Emalie Hassler also won each of their four matches at #2 doubles, while sophomore Peyton Kavanagh and freshman Maddie Stack completed the Mustang sweep with four wins at #3 doubles.

Central's 12 team points topped Shawnee Heights in second with seven, while Lawrence Free State took third with five points.

The Lady Mustangs are back in action next Thursday when they host the Salina Central Quad at the Mustang Courts on the campus of Salina Central High School.


Salina Central top finish came in #1 Doubles where Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson won their division at 3-0. The Mustangs finished second in each of the other three divisions: Brittany Blackim at #2 Singles, Karley Benson at #2 Singles, and Peyton Kavanagh and Maddie Stack at #2 Doubles. The Mustangs, going with a split squad, finished runner up to Salina South.

The Cougars finished with nine team points, topping the Mustangs with eight. Hutchinson was third and Marysville took fourth.

The Mustangs are back in action on Saturday as they host the Mustang Duels.


Salina Central’s Jera Richardson and Sydney Kossow had their resolve tested early.

The extremely warm, windy conditions challenged the resiliency of all the competitors at the Central Duals tournament on Saturday. Perhaps more so for Richardson and Kossow, who were playing for the first time this season after missing three meets while Kossow recovered from an arm injury.

The Mustang seniors finished 3-1 and took second in No. 1 doubles, but were pushed in all three wins to make for a long, long opening day on the Central High courts.

“We were really anxious to get started today,” Richardson said. “Everybody here was pretty equal, but most of the teams had already played in conditions like this.

“There’s always stuff we can improve on. We’ll go back to practice and fix the things we messed up on today.”

The Mustang teammates needed a tiebreaker to win their opener against St. Thomas Aquinas 8-7 (10-8), then went to 2-0 with an 8-6 victory over Emporia’s top doubles team. They suffered their lone loss to Arkansas City’s Kelsie Burr and Chassidy Weathers, then rallied from a 6-5 deficit for an 8-6 win in their final match against Salina South’s Cameron Munk and Jessica Smith.

“We didn’t have any energy,” Kossow said of the match against South. “We told ourselves when we were behind that we were embarrassed by the way we were playing and had to end it by playing well

“We played together last year and we’re best friends, so we already have that chemistry going.”

Each of the five teams competing in the Central Duals was represented by four singles players and three doubles teams. Central went 4-0 in its duals and won 22 of its 28 matches. The Mustangs finished first or second in six of the seven divisions.

“I love this tournament because it measures your depth,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “We don’t really have the knockout players who are going to take control of a big tournament, but we’ve got a lot of girls who can play quality matches.

“One through 10 today, they were just phenomenal.”

South went 1-3 in duals and had its top finish in No. 2 singles, where freshman Sydney McAdoo finished 4-0 to win the division.

McAdoo and Central junior Brittany Blackim were both unbeaten when they met in the final match of the day. McAdoo trailed 6-4 before winning the final four games and getting her second win in three matches with Blackim this season.

“(Blackim) has a really good serve,” McAdoo said. “I have to get them back over and when I have a chance, I have to win the point.

“When you are down like I was, it becomes more of a mind game. You have to be mentally strong because it can be easy to get down on yourself and just lose.”

Central had first-place finishes from sophomore Karley Benson at No. 3 singles and freshman Grace Holgerson at No. 4 singles after both went 4-0. In addition to Blackim and Richardson-Kossow, runner-up finishes for the Mustangs included Paige Heiger and Caroline Holgerson at No. 2 doubles, and the No. 3 doubles team of Emalie Hassler and Emma Norris.

Senior Ashley Sankey went 2-2 and took third at No. 1 singles, but picked up an important 8-7 (14-12) win in Central’s 4-3 win over Arkansas City.

South had third-place finishes from Mikayla Talbott at No. 3 singles, Shea McAllister at No. 4 singles and the Cougars No. 2 doubles team of Quinn Munk and Jessica Coleman.

“This tournament really tests your team’s depth,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “You get to bring 10 kids and out of those 10 for us, we only had one senior here.

“Considering the quality of teams at this tournament, I though we competed really well. We won 11 matches and were one tiebreaker away from getting third as a team. There’s a lot to build on but this group of girls all work hard.”


Once Elea Ediger found her comfort zone, things grew increasingly uncomfortable for everyone else. Ediger, a McPherson junior, improved with each match and did not drop a game in the last three rounds Saturday on the way to the Salina Central Invitational singles championship at the Central courts.

“It’s always hard the first couple of rounds to get warmed up,” Ediger said after dispatching Goddard’s Sydney LeFevre, 8-0, in the finals. “Toward the end I got really comfortable with my strokes. “This is a big confidence booster for me because it’s always one of the tougher tournaments.”

While Ediger grew stronger as the day wore on, Salina South’s Sydney McAdoo in singles and Salina Central’s Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson in doubles played their best tennis in the earlier rounds on the way to fourth-place finishes.

Ark City team champ Arkansas City, which swept the doubles, also rolled to the team championship with 118 points, followed by McPherson with 102 and Central’s Maroon team with 99. Central Black was seventh with 69 and Salina South, which played without its top two doubles teams, took ninth with 57.

Ediger, who placed fifth in singles at Class 4A state as a sophomore last year, lost three games in her opening match and one in the second before really hitting her stride. “My serve has always pretty much been a weapon for me and my ground strokes were really consistent today,” said Ediger, who beat Salina Central Black’s Grace Holgerson, 8-0, in the quarterfinals and McAdoo by the same score in the semis.

Freshman McAdoo 4th McAdoo, a South freshman who was not one of the eight seeds in the 32-player singles draw, won her first three matches before losing to Ediger in the semifinals and falling 8-3 to No. 6 seed Brittany McBride of Ark City for third place.

She knocked off fifth-seeded Ashley Sankey of Salina Central, 8-7 (8-6) in a quarterfinal tiebreaker. “I was happy that I finished in the top four,” McAdoo said. “I definitely (faced) harder players, especially at the end, but I thought I played pretty well. “This is one of the hardest tournaments, so I think it shows you where you are in Kansas. It also shows that you shouldn’t give up in a match, even if you think you’re going to lose.”

Kossow-Richardson 4th In doubles, Central’s fifth-seeded Kossow and Richardson scored their biggest victory in the quarterfinals, coming from behind to edge No. 4 Cassidy Corrigan and Maisie Edmonson, 8-6. They also battled back from an early deficit against No. 1-seeded Kelsie Burr and Chassidy Weathers in the semifinals before falling, 8-4, then dropped the third-place match to Caitlin and Ali Dodd of Lawrence Free State, 8-2.

Burr and Weathers beat teammates Bailey Benton and Hannah Klaassen, 8-5, for the championship.

“I was really proud of how we played against McPherson in the (quarterfinals), when we were down 6-3 and won five straight games to win the match,” said Central senior Richardson. “In the Ark City match, we played them (last) Saturday so we knew they were a good team and knew what we were in for. “(After 1-4 to 3-4), everything started going downhill from there, but on the plus side we finished ahead of where we were supposed to be.”

Fellow senior Kossow said they had difficulty matching their early intensity in the later rounds. “I just think we had more energy and confidence getting to the quarters, but at the end against Ark City we lost it completely,” she said. “We just got down on ourselves and couldn’t get back up.”

The top singles finish for Central came from the Black second team, where freshman Grace Holgerson placed sixth, while the Maroon varsity got eighth from Ashley Sankey and ninth from Brittany Blackim. Salina South’s Tesa Wilcox took 11th.


At Goddard, Emma Norris and Maddie Stack won all three of their No. 2 doubles matches en route to wining the championship at the Goddard Invitational. Norris and Stack defeated a team from Circle 8-1 in the finals.

The Mustangs placed third in the team standings with 18 points. Wichita Collegiate was the champion with 20 points while Circle had 19.

The Mustangs’ No. 1 doubles team of Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson finished third, going 2-1 on the day. Grace Holgerson placed fifth in No. 1 singles, going 2-1, while Abbi Schroeder finished sixth in No. 2 with a 1-2 record at No. 2 singles.


At Newton, Salina Central’s Ashley Sankey won the singles championship and the doubles team of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson placed third in leading the Mustangs to the team title at the Newton Invitational.

Sankey won all four of her matches. Teammates Karley Benson placed seventh, going 2-2. Kossow and Richardson won three of four matches, losing to a team from Winfield in the finals. Central’s Peyton Kavanagh and Darian Louthan split their four matches and finished seventh.

Central had 52 points, edging out Winfield and Derby, which had 51 apiece. The Mustangs play at Derby on Friday


At Derby, Salina Central entries won No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles, and finished second in No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles en route to winning the Derby Invitational.

The Mustangs finished with 28 points while Wichita Collegiate took second with 25 and Derby third with 21.

Brittany Blackim won the No. 2 singles title, going 4-0 on the day. Emma Norris and Maddie Stack won all three of their matches in claiming the No. 2 doubles crown. Grace Holgerson was 2-1 in No. 1 singles in placing second, as were Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson in No. 1 doubles.

Central plays at Wichita Collegiate next Tuesday


At Wichita, Salina Central’s No. 2 doubles team of Emma Norris and Maddie Stack won all three of their matches en route to winning the title and helping the Mustangs share the team title.

Central and Wichita Collegiate each finished with 24 points in the standings.

Grace Holgerson placed second in No. 2 singles with a 2-1 record for Central. Karley Denson went 2-1 and placed third in No. 1 singles, and Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson were 2-1 and placed third in No. 1 doubles.

The Lady Mustangs are back in action on Thursday as they compete in the Salina South Invitational.


Salina Central got top four finishes in all four divisions to take the team title at the Salina South Invitational on Thursday. The Mustangs finished with 67 points to top runner-up Olathe South with 60, while Salina South was third with 46.

Central’s Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson went 4-0 on the day to win the doubles division. That included an 8-3 victory over Olathe South’s Catherine Serwatka and Rachel Li in the title match.

Central’s Paige Heiger and Caroline Holgerson finished third in doubles, getting past Salina South’s Cameron Munk and Jessica Smith in the thirdplace match, 8-3.

Mustang teammates Ashley Sankey and Brittany Blackim faced one another in the third-place of the singles bracket, with Sankey getting an 8-2 win and finishing the day with a 3-1 record.

After a loss in the quarterfinals, South’s Tesa Wilcox won her final two matches and took fifth in singles. The Cougars also had a sixth-place finish in doubles from Jessica Coleman and Quinn Munk, while Mikayla Talbott was 12th in singles.

The Lady Mustangs are back in action on Tuesday as they travel to compete in the Topeka West Invitational.


At Topeka, the Salina Central girls tennis team fell one point shy of the top spot at the Topeka West Invitational on Tuesday. Central took second in the 10-team tournament with 43 points, one back of team champion Washburn Rural. Blue Valley West was third with 39 points.

Brittney Blackim went 3-0 to win the No. 2 singles division for the Mustangs, with teammate Karley Benson going 2-1 and taking third in the same division. Ashley Sankey was seventh and Grace Holgerson eighth in No. 1 singles.

Central also had a second-place finish in No. 2 doubles from Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson. In No. 1 doubles, Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson placed fourth, while teammates Emma Norris and Peyton Kavanagh were sixth.


The goal for the Salina Central girls was to successfully defend their league title. The reward was a change in wardrobe later this week.

Central had locked up its second straight Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League (Division I) tennis title after the completion of the tourney semifinals Monday at the Central High School courts. The Mustangs didn’t let up in the final round, finishing with 46 team points in the seven-team meet, topping runner-up Derby with 37, followed by Maize with 32 and Salina South in fourth with 30.

The team title means the Mustangs get to put away their black-and-white team uniforms and add a little color for Saturday’s Class 5A regional meet, which will also be held at Central.

“We get to wear our pink skirts at regional,” said senior Sydney Kossow. “Coach said we had to win league to wear them and that was our goal today.”

“It’s more of a goal the whole team can work for,” said senior Jera Richardson. “Last year, we won league and we got to wear them at regional, so now it’s a goal we have every year. I think coach would have stuck to it if we hadn’t won.”

The Mustangs will also take considerable momentum into the postseason after Monday’s strong finish. Kossow and Richardson combined to win the league doubles title, while every Central entry reached the semifinals and finished fourth or better.

“I’m very proud of this bunch of girls because a lot of people didn’t expect big things from them,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “But they’ve produced big things. Back-to-back league championships is a pretty good achievement.

“They are also up to No. 5 in the (5A) rankings, but we tell them it is one thing to be ranked. It’s another to perform.”

After a first-round bye as the tournament’s top seed, Kossow and Richardson won each of their three matches Monday in straight sets. That included a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Derby’s Mackenzie Hughes and Issabella Smith in the title match.

“Derby has a solid team, and it could have gone either way,” Kossow said. “These wins could be really good four our seeding because we played some teams today we will probably see at regional and state.”

“We felt like we played a lot better today than we did in our last tournament at Topeka,” Richardson said. “We worked really hard in practice this week and knew there would be a lot of good teams here, so we were hoping to place well and help us get a good seed at regional.”

Central teammates Brittany Blackim and Ashley Sankey met in the singles third-place match, with Blackim winning two close sets in a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

“I feel like I’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the year,” Blackim said. “I had a couple of hard matches today and the match against Ashley was definitely the longest match of the day.

“It makes it harder when you play somebody from your own team but we both had to put that aside and fight through, because it was such a long match.”

The Mustangs also had a third-place finish in doubles from Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson. Playing in the final match on the courts and with sunset nearing, Hieger and Holgerson rallied from a set down to defeat Amanda Zavala and Ariel Williams of Campus, 3-6, 6-1 (10-5).

South’s final round of play in both singles and doubles matched teammates against teammates.

Quinn Munk and Jessica Coleman won the fifth-place match in doubles, defeating Cougar teammates Cameron Munk and Jessica Smith in another tiebreaker, 6-4, 1-6, (10-6).

It was South’s Tesa Wilcox over teammate Sydney McAdoo for seventh place in the singles division. Wilcox also won a close match, edging McAdoo 9-8 (7-3).

“All four entries made it to the quarterfinals and all four lost in the quarterfinals,” said South coach Ryan Stuart, who did not have a senior in his league lineup. “It’s a young, competitive team that is trying to learn to win those big matches and get past the quarterfinals.”


Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson were staring at a 5-3 deficit in their Class 5A regional doubles championship Saturday when a light came on. “I said to (Kossow), this is our last match on these courts ever,” Richardson said of the Salina Central tennis complex they had called home for the past four seasons. “That kind of hit us. “We started focusing on our shots more and got going.”

Kossow and Richardson quickly righted the ship, reeling off four straight games to claim the first set, then rolling in the second for a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Valley Center’s Rachel Binau and Jessica Sharp.

The doubles title also led a Central charge toward next weekend’s 5A state tournament in Valley Center as the Mustangs ran away with the regional title and qualified all four entries. “Hopefully we’re going in with some confidence,” Richardson said of the state tournament. “Especially with this being our senior year and going as a whole team is really special.”

Central won the team trophy with 22 points, followed by Maize with 11 and Salina South with nine. Junior Brittany Blackim finished second and senior Ashley Sankey fourth in singles, while juniors Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson took third in doubles.

For South, sophomore Tesa Wilcox qualified fifth in singles, with juniors Jessica Coleman and Quinn Munk placing fourth in singles.

Great Bend senior Macy Moyers breezed to the singled championship without dropping a set, knocking off Blackim, 6-2, 6-0, in the finals.

Top seeds Kossow and Richardson also had a smooth run to the finals, but struggled early against third-seeded Binau and Sharp. But they began their rally by breaking Sharp’s serve on a Kossow volley winner to get to 4-5. Kossow also closed out the last two games with sharp volleys and the Mustangs turned up the heat at the net in the second set to put Binau and Sharp on the defensive. “We started off really bad, but we didn’t want our last match on these courts to end like that,” Kossow said. “Once we felt more comfortable and more confident we weren’t as afraid to go to the net. “I think everything picked up — our attitude and our game.”

Central’s Hieger and Holgerson also fell behind early against Binau and Sharp in the semifinals but could not get back on track, falling 6-0, 6-2. But they quickly reversed their fortunes in the third-place match, pounding South’s Coleman and Munk, 6-1, 6-2. “It’s always good to finish strong, and knowing the whole team gets to go to state with your helps your focus,” Hieger said.

It will be the first trip to state for Hieger, Holgerson, Blackim and Sankey. Kossow and Richardson will make their third straight appearance together. “I’m very excited,” Holgerson said. “My dad, when he was in high school at Central, also went to state.”

Blackim not only will make her state debut Friday, but thanks to a semifinal upset of Maize’s second-seeded Tiffani Holman, she will have a first-round bye. “I was seeded third and ended up second, so I moved up,” said Blackim, who needed three sets to knock off Holman, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3. “My match against (Holman) was really tough and winning that one was a really good accomplishment because we had played before and she beat me both times.”

Sankey also split sets against Holman in the third-place match, but lost in a super tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-4, 10-5. Still, she had no complaints. “I thought I played OK,” Sankey said. “I got really nervous the first couple of matches, but once I (qualified for state), it took a lot of pressure off.”

South’s Coleman and Munk also were able to breathe easy after winning their first two matches to secure a top-four finish. “A lot of the pressure was taken off,” Coleman said. “We’re still disappointed we lost, but it certainly was easier.” The fact that they advanced to state for the first time, as did Wilcox, took some sting out of the losses. “Even though we lost our last two matches against the better teams, I thought we did pretty well,” Munk said.


Friday-Saturday 6A: Olathe (College Boulevard Activity Center)
5A: Valley Center (High School).
4A: Winfield (T.H. Vaughn Tennis Center)
3-2-1A: Prairie Village


Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson are no strangers to the Class 5A state tennis tournament. Their teammates are, but that’s OK too. Thanks to a dominating performance at last week’s regional tournament on their home courts, the Mustangs will send a full contingent to state today and Saturday at Valley Center High School.

Four of them — singles players Brittany Blackim and Ashley Sankey, plus the doubles team of Paige Hieger and Caroline Holgerson — are going for the first time. “It’s really cool that all the girls get to go,” said Sankey, who qualified fourth in the regional. “Especially for me since it’s my first time and I’m a senior.”

Sankey is joined in the singles draw by regional runner-up Blackim, a junior. The other first-timers, juniors Hieger and Holgerson, qualified third in doubles.

But it’s seniors Kossow and Richardson, teaming up for the third straight year at state, who head into the weekend with a full head of steam. Not only did they place 11th a year ago, but they’re riding the momentum of both an Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I and regional title.

“After winning league and winning the regional, we’re kind of on a high,” Kossow said after she and Richardson knocked off Valley Center’s Rachel Binau and Jessica Sharp, 7-5, 6-3, in the regional final. “We’re definitely confident. “We need to do our best to go out and be aggressive from the start.”

Kossow and Richardson take a 25-8 record into the state tournament, but they are one of only four placers from a year ago that return intact. The favorites are Wichita Carroll seniors Nicole Lubbers and Breckyn Steven, last year’s runners-up.

In singles, the top three finishers return, all from the Emporia regional. Andover junior Do-hee Lee beat teammate Grace Ball in last year’s final and again last week at regionals. Emporia senior Ashley DeBauge was third at state and again at regionals. Defending champion Andover qualified a full team, sweeping the singles and going first and third in doubles. The Trojans will be pushed by a Carroll team that took first and second in both singles and doubles at the Wichita Kapaun regional.

Central won its regional by placing first and third in doubles, second and fourth in singles. “I’m very, very pleased,” Central coach Mike Goll said following the regional. “I’m really pleased for the three seniors and for all the qualifiers. “It’s a great achievement on their part to go through the program for four years and as seniors going to state. We definitely surpassed our expectations for the year.”

Salina South qualified half of its team for state, with sophomore Jessica Coleman and junior Quinn Munk taking fourth at regionals in doubles, and sophomore Tesa Wilcox fifth in singles. “We had three kids qualify and all three are making their first appearance at state,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “We have two sophomores and one junior going, and for such a young team that’s a pretty solid result.”


Salina Central and Salina South each qualified a doubles team into the second day of competition at the Class 5A girls state tennis meet. Central’s senior tandem of Sydney Kossow and Jera Richardson along with South’s duo of Jessica Coleman and Quinn Munk are in position to finish as high as fifth place today.

After surviving its opening-round match 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, against Wichita Kapaun’s Kelly House and Audrey Arterburn, regional champions Kossow and Richardson lost to Ark City’s Kelsie Burr and Chassidy Weathers 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Kossow and Richardson will play Wichita Carroll’s Jamie Willis and Brayden Steven this morning.

South’s Coleman and Munk opened Friday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over St. James’ Caroline Geither and Meredith Bierbaum before dropping a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Andover’s regional champions Caitlyn White and Robyn Fritze. Coleman and Munk rebounded with consolation victories over Shawnee Heights’ Madeline Lysaught and Mallory Lysaught (9-6) and Pittsburg’s Samantha Bollinger and Abi Felter (9-5). The Cougar tandem will face Seaman’s Sarah Knight and Shyanne Osterhaus today.

It was a tough day for Salina’s singles qualifiers. Salina Central’s Brittany Blackim and Ashley Sankey both finished the day 1-2, while South’s Tesa Wilcox dropped both of her matches. All three were eliminated.


Salina Central seniors Jera Richardson and Sydney Kossow closed their high school tennis careers with a victory, winning in the seventh-place match of the doubles division at the Class 5A state tournament Saturday. Richardson and Kossow finished the season 28-10 after their 9-5 win over Salina South’s Jessica Coleman and Quinn Munk for seventh. Central finished the state tournament with 11 team points and placed seventh. South took 11th with eight points.

Kossow and Richardson lost in Friday’s quarterfinals to eventual tournament runner-up Kelsie Burr and Chassidy Weathers of Arkansas City. They assured themselves a top-eight finish with a 9-6 win in the consolation bracket over Jamie Willis and Brayden Steven of Wichita Carroll, but a 9-2 loss in the next round to Kapaun’s Carmen Mindt and Eleanor Baldwin put the Central duo in the seventh place match.

Coleman and Munk won three consecutive matches in the consolation bracket to guarantee themselves a top-eight finish. That included a 9-5 win over Sarah Knight and Shyanne Osterhaus of Seaman to get to the consolation semifinals, but lost the next match to Mandi Petros and Rachel Long of Lansing, 9-5. Coleman, a sophomore, and Munk, a junior, finished the two-day tournament with a record of 4-3 and were 24-14 on the season.

Andover had the top two finishes in the singles division and third- and fourth-place finishes in doubles to easily take the 5A team title. The Trojans finished with 60 points for their third consecutive title, topping runner-up Wichita Carroll with 47. Arkansas City was third with 25.

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