CENTRAL'S SANBORN TAKES SECOND IN AVCTL
The final outcome may not have been what she had hoped for, but Callie Sanborn couldn’t complain.
Objectively, her 6-2, 3-6, 10-6 super tiebreaker loss to Andover’s Sarah Sinclair in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division II singles final had progress written all over it.
“I did feel pretty good about it,” Sanborn said after leading Salina Central to a third-place team finish Monday at the Central tennis courts. “At the beginning of the season I lost to (Sinclair), 2-7, so it shows how much I’ve improved.”
After dropping the first set to Sinclair, Sanborn got back into the match with her steady baseline approach of wearing down opponents and extending points by getting to every ball. Even after taking the second set and falling behind 6-2 in the tiebreaker, she rallied to 6-6 before Sinclair closed it out.
“In the second set I played much better,” Sanborn said. “I was getting frustrated myself at the start because she’s a very good player and she was making every shot, but then I calmed down and started playing my game and just keeping the ball in play.”
Sinclair, who led an Andover sweep of the singles and doubles titles as well as the team championship, said she tried not to let Sanborn dictate the tempo of the match.
“You’ve got to be aggressive and stay on top and not make unforced errors,” she said. “And you’ve got to paint the lines more.” I
t was the final singles match of the season for Sinclair, who will team with senior sister Emma in doubles in Saturday’s regional tournament.
“I want to play with my sister because it’s her senior season and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
Emma Sinclair also was a league champion Monday, pairing with Annabelle Tantemsomboon to beat Arkansas City’s Eleana Messenger and Landry Biddle 6-2, 3-6, 10-3 for the doubles title.
“That last match against Ark City was really fun,” she said. “They’re really good.”
Tantemsomboon, who will transition to singles at regionals, was Emma Sinclair’s fifth different doubles partner this season. She has played three tournaments with her sister, winning two of them.
As for Sanborn, who will begin her postseason bid Saturday in the Maize regional at Maize South High School, she is looking forward to one last run.
“I feel really good about it,” she said. “I’ve played a lot of the competition that is going to our regional, so it should be a good day Saturday.”
The next-best finishes for Central in its first AVCTL Division II tournament came from Emme Turpin and Mackenzie Nutter, who took seventh in doubles, while Kamee Robinson finished eighth in singles. Reagan Geihsler and Janae Montoya dropped their first-round match but won their next three to finish ninth.
Andover handily won the team title with 49 points, followed by Andover Central with 36 and Salina Central with 30.