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Whether it is a freshman playing at this level for the first time or a senior preparing for that final year of high school athletics, there is something special about that first day of practice during a new school year. The same feeling is expressed from many of the coaches, regardless of their past experience.

Practices began not only in Salina but all across Kansas on Monday for high school athletes competing in boys and girls cross country, football, girls golf, boys soccer, girls tennis and volleyball.

Salina Central girls tennis coach Mike Goll limited his players to only one hour of court time on the first day. Afternoon temperatures reached the mid-90s, but the heat index reported at Salina Municipal Airport was closer to 110 degrees with little wind that might have provided some relief.

'It's a little warm today,' Central senior Camryn Phelps said with a slight smile late Monday afternoon at the end practice. 'Actually it was pretty brutal. You get tired so much faster, and it's hard to move your feet, but we get lots of water breaks. 'But I was especially excited to start today because this is the last year for us seniors. We've been friends since the beginning of our freshman year, we've got great coaches and I love being part of this team.'



Salina Central opened their Tennis Season with a Team Championship in the Salina Singles Quad Meet Thursday. The first place Lady Mustangs had 10 points, followed by Newton with 8 points, Salina South with 4 points, and Valley Center with 2 points.

Three entries went undefeated on the day with a 3-0 record. Emery Newton, Callie Sanborn, and Ella Payne all won their divisions. Kamee Robinson took 3rd in the #4 Singles position.

The ladies are back in action on Saturday as they compete in the Mustang Doubles Classic at home.



The Lady Mustang Tennis team came within a Tiebreaker of a Team Title in the First Annual Mustang Doubles Classic. Buhler won the tiebreak 2 wins to 1 after scoring 9 points in the meet. Salina Central also had 9 points, followed by Arkansas City with 8 points, Olathe South with 4 points and Topeka West failing to score.

The Mustangs were led by the #2 Doubles team of seniors Molly Michaelis and Sydney Sorell. They went 4-0 on the day to take first place in their division. The #3 team of junior Emme Turpin and sophomore Mackenzie Nutter took 2nd place with a 3-1 recore. Senior Camryn Phelps and junior Regan Geihsler teamed up to take 3rd place in the #1 division.

The ladies are back in action next Thursday as they host the Salina Central Quad.



The Lady Mustang Tennis Team won another Team Title on Thursday. The won the title by way of a Team Tiebreaker with Salina South. Head to head matches were tied at 2-2. The tiebreaker then went to total wins divided by total games played against each other. Salina Central went 21-19 for a winning percentage of .525. Salina South went 19-21 for a percentage of .474.

Salina Central was lead by their two singles players, Senior Emery Newton and Sophomore Ella Payne. Both players went 3-0 on the day to earn the gold medal in their respective divisions.

The doubles teams each finished in 3rd place on the day with 1-2 records. Junior Emme Turpin and Sophomore Mackenzie Nutter won their opening round against Marysville and fell to both Hutchinson and Salina South. Junior Hannah Queen and Freshman Alahana Smith also finished at 1-2 for third place.

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



Salina Centrals Girls captured another team title Saturday by winning the Mustang Duels on their home court. The Lady Mustangs went 4-0 on the day to finish ahead of runnerup Buhler (3-1), Salina South (2-2), St. Thomas Aquinas (1-3) and Valley Center (0-4).

The teams was led by Callie Sanborn and Emery Newton who both finished the day winning gold medals in their division. Ella Payne and Kamee Robinson each took 4th place in their division.

The doubles teams also did their part in winning the team title. Camryn Phelps and Regan Geihsler won the #2 Doubles division with a 4-0 record. Also, winning a gold medal was the #3 duo of Emme Turpin and Mackenzie Nutter. The #1 Doubles team of Sydney Sorell and Molly Michaelis finished in 3rd place.

The Mustangs will travel to Newton next Tuesday to compete in the Newton Invitational.



The Lady Mustangs won the Newton Invitational on Tuesday in impressive fashion. The team scored a total of 57 points, followed by Andover with 47 points, and Arkansas City with 38 to round out the top 3.

Salina Central was led by Emery Newton with a second place finish is Singles. Teammate Callie Sanborn followed with a fourth place finish.

The Doubles teams were led by Camryn Phelps and Regan Geihsler with a second place finish. Sydney Sorell and Molly Michaelis finished with a strong third place.

The Lady Mustangs will host the Salina Central Invitational next Saturday.



No Salina South individual entry finished higher than third during the Salina Central Invitational girls tennis meet on Saturday, yet every one of the Cougars went home with a secondplace medal.

Led by third-place finishes in the singles bracket from Robyn Logan and in doubles from Iliana Armbrust and Alexxa Nunemaker, the Cougars totaled 107 team points. That was good for second place behind McPherson (113 points) and to edge Topeka Seaman (101) for third.

“We all pulled together today,” Logan said. “This one felt more like a team meet. “Even though tennis is an individual sport, we all want to do well as a team in the big meets.” South coach Ryan Stuart credited the Cougars’ depth. “We are a deep, balanced team and we proved that again today,” he said. “We always tell the kids to try to play to their seed and most of them played to that today. “And we are still playing without one of our best players in Jillian Coleman, who we hope to get back in a couple of weeks from a knee injury.”

Central was also without one of its top singles players, with senior Emery Newton (13-1) missing the meet to take the ACT test. The Mustangs had 87 teams points and placed fifth among the 14 schools in the meet. “We stumbled in a few matches early in the tournament but regrouped and finished the day strong in a number of areas,” Central coach Mike Goll said.

Logan’s lone loss in the tournament came in the semifinals, where she went to a tiebreaker with Megan Ward of St. James Academy before falling 8-7 (5). The South senior closed with a one-sided 8-0 victory over Seaman’s Elise Schreiner in the thirdplace match. “I was most pleased that I was able to stay calm on the court today and if I was down, I tried to get back up,” Logan said.

“I feel like I played pretty consistent and trying to keep shots in with all the wind was hard to do.” Armbrust and Nunemaker were the No. 3 seeds in the doubles bracket and lost a total of three games in their first three matches. Their only loss came against No. 2 seeds Jacey Arnett and Eleana Messenger of Arkansas City in the semifinals, 8-5. The South duo also came back with a win in the tournament’s thirdplace match, defeating Molly Book and Madison Biondo of St. James Academy, 8-4.

“I think we played really well and worked together well,” Armbrust said. “We were calling our shots and making sure where the other person was behind us. We played some really good competition and were able to pull through.” Nunemaker concurred. “Our movement was better and we really tried hard not to stand still,” Nunemaker said. “We tried some new things with lobs, where we placed the ball and coming up to the net to isolate that.”

Stuart was pleased with his team’s resilience. “What I liked the most was how our kids came back and played in the third-place matches,” he said. “No one wants to lose in the semifinals, so to come back and win their final match like they did was nice.” South also had a seventh-place finish in singles from Laura Brucker, with its doubles team of Tess Daily and Katen Putman taking 11th.

Central’s top finish came in the doubles division, where Camryn Phelps and Reagan Geihsler went 3-2 and took seventh. Teammates Sydney Sorell and Molly Michaelis went 4-1 in doubles, won their last three matches and placed ninth.

Callie Sanborn had a tough draw in the singles division, with the Mustang junior losing to eventual runner-up Ward in the second round. Sanborn won her final three matches to take ninth, with sophomore Ella Payne placing 15th in the singles division.

“Every entry won their last match of the day,” Goll said. “In a tournament this size, to be able to finish the day with wins says a lot about being able to answer challenges.”

South’s Elizabeth Franco and Katalina Rivera placed 10th in doubles and Central’s Emme Turpin and Mackenzie Nutter were 12th, with both teams competing unattached and did not figure into their respective schools’ team scores.

The tournament’s top seeds in both divisions were able to claim titles Saturday, with McPherson’s CeAnna Allen and Taylor Bruce topping the doubles field and Keegan VanPelt of Lawrence Free State winning singles. Allen and Bruce won a tiebreaker in their semifinal with Book-Biondo, then defeated Ark City’s Arnett and Messenger in the title match, 8-6. McPherson also had a fifth-place finish from Rachel Carlson in singles.



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