Hillsboro High School girls tennis players Courtney and Allison Weber combined to win the Central Kansas League championship in doubles Saturday.
The first round was relatively drama free, as they defeated Vanessa Agbo and Sarah Wheeler of Sterling, 6-0 and 6-0.
In the second round, they faced Grace Felloelter and Dani Williams of Pratt, who defeated them in the first meet of the year. They wouldn’t repeat the feat, as the Webers defeated them, 6-2 and 6-0.
The Hillsboro duo fell behind early in the finals against Rachel Shogren and Ashley Weaver of Hesston, losing the first set, 3-6.
“The two Weber girls just refused to give up,” coach Bob Woelk said. “After losing the first set, even I had my doubts about their chances late in the second set. I told them to dig deep, to gut it out because I could see the Hesston girls were beginning to get frustrated and were making more unforced errors.”
The second set went to a tiebreaker, which Hillsboro won, 9-7, to even the match at one set apiece. The third set was tight, but didn’t require a tiebreaker, and the Webers won, 7-5, to win the league title.
“I have never seen such court coverage from any duo I have coached,” Woelk said. “They were everywhere.
“The real key to both the semifinal match against Pratt and the finals was how Allison has improved in her shotmaking from the last time the two played together a couple of weeks ago. It looks like the decision to play them in singles at our home meet Sept. 22 paid off.”
Woelk said he felt their doubles play had been stagnating for a couple of matches, and playing singles forced them to move their feet more without a partner to rely on.
“Saturday, Courtney continued to be her steady self,” Woelk said. “Allison did a much better job of keeping the ball away from the opposing player at the net. Her confidence just grew and grew. Courtney’s net play was outstanding, and she played the big sister role perfectly, making sure they both stayed focused.”
“I could not be happier for Courtney to take the league title in her senior year,” Woelk said. “People who do not follow area high school tennis will probably not understand the significance of this win, but I had to pinch myself afterward to believe that what I saw had just happened.”
Woelk said he respects Hesston coach Mark Dahlsten and the program he has. He also said the Hesston team showed good sportsmanship in congratulating the Webers on how tough they played.
“I hope this positive energy carries over for the whole team going into regionals at Wichita next weekend,” he said.
In other action
The no. 2 doubles team of Erin Winter and Peyton Loewen placed fourth in their bracket. They won their first match, 6-3 and 6-4, against Audrey Tate and Jessica Shadoin of Haven.
They lost to top-seeded Danika Good and Morgan Schrock of Hesston in the semifinals, 6-2 and 6-0. In the third-place game, they lost to Samantha Kettering and Hannah Taylor of Pratt, 6-2 and 6-4.
In the no. 1 singles bracket, Katie Claassen lost in a play-in match against Jamie Wolf of Haven, 9-2. In the consolation bracket, she lost to Nora Tenbausch of Kingman, 9-0.
In the no. 2 doubles bracket, Bailey Kaufman lost to Samantha Rohlman of Kingman, 9-2, in a play-in match. She also lost to Lindsie Hendriks of Haven, 9-1, in the consolation bracket.
The HHS Trojans finished in fifth place out of nine teams.
Regional competition is Friday and Saturday in Wichita.