The No. 1 doubles team for Hillsboro High School girls’ tennis placed fifth in a field with opponents from larger and private schools Saturday at Hesston.
Courtney and Allison Weber defeated Claire Harpool and Caroline Crosby of Wichita Collegiate, 8-0, and Lizzie Sharping and Crace Cusick of Andover, 8-6. They lost to Ashley Weaver and Rachel Shogren of Hesston, 8-3, and Jillian Poynter and Cara Anderson of Wichita Independent, 8-4.
“Courtney and Allison Weber are becoming more comfortable,” coach Bob Woelk said. “They have been competitive against teams from Smoky Valley, Hesston, and Wichita Independent. I thought they started moving together better as the day wore on Saturday.
“We are gaining experience against some stellar competition,” he said. “Going 2-2 and placing fifth in both meets was an accomplishment.”
In the No. 2 doubles bracket, Erin Winter and Peyton Loewen placed seventh. They defeated Lauren Hutchinson and Diana Kim of Wichita Collegiate, 8-3, but lost to Danika Good and Morgan Schrock of Hesston, 8-1, Codey Davis and Blanca Garcia of Wichita Independent, 8-3, and Clara Loewen and Abby Kaff of Andover, 8-5.
“Erin Winter and Peyton Loewen are also gaining traction as a doubles team,” Woelk said. “They are becoming more aggressive as they get more comfortable with their roles as No. 2 doubles players.
“Erin has served well at times, and Peyton is starting to come to the net when the opportunity presents itself,” he said.
In the No. 1 singles bracket, Katie Claassen lost to Ali Anderson of Hesston, Kristin Morgan of Andover, Jessica Van Ranken of Central Plains, and Alice Radenberg of Central Plains, all 8-0, to place eighth.
“I was proud of Katie Claassen’s efforts at the No. 1 singles in both meets,” Woelk said. “Again, she hung in there against top tier players from 4A schools. Her record doesn’t indicate it, but she is making strides.”
Claire Heyen placed seventh in the No. 2 singles bracket. She defeated Alyvia Bell of Central Plains, 8-7 with a 7-2 tiebreaker. She lost to Mary Meeker of Wichita Collegiate, Annie Reinert of Smoky Valley, and Elisabeth Wilder of Hesston, all 8-0.
“Both our meets were against some of the best competition in this part of Kansas,” Woelk said. “Our young players are continuing to improve, though the wins and losses don’t always seem to indicate the level of play.”
Smoky Valley Invitational
Doubles team of Weber and Weber won three of their four matches to place fifth out of 16 teams Thursday at Smoky Valley in Lindsborg.
In the first round, they defeated Savannah Dennett and Paige Richardson of Winfield, 8-0. They lost against Samantha Aeschliman and Emma Flynn of Smoky Valley in the quarterfinals. They then defeated Laurel Kolacny and Janay Wilson of Abilene, 8-4, and Jessica Butler and Regina Sithara of Winfield, 8-7, to place fifth.
Winter and Loewen finished in 16th place in the doubles bracket with losses to Ashley Weaver and Rachel Shogren of Hesston, 8-0, Michaela Olberding and Ana Weissenbach of Abilene, 8-0, Aubrey Kempke and Karli Beck of Central Plains, 8-3, and Kristina Enslinger and Baylee Reade of Trinity Catholic of Hutchinson, 8-5.
In the singles bracket, Claassen and Bailey Kaufman each lost their first three matches. Claassen was defeated by Saray Zey of Abilene, 8-0, Brishna Flores of Trinity Catholic, 8-0, and Alison Roberts of Trinity, 8-2.
Kaufman was defeated by Julie Frentz of Maize South, 8-0, Mercedes Nihart of Winfield, 8-0, and Aubrey Alcorn of Central Plains, 8-3.
“Bailey Kaufman showed some improvement at Smoky Valley, and Claire Heyen stepped up to win her final match at Hesston on Saturday in a tiebreaker,” Woelk said. “(Claire) has a steep learning curve playing varsity as a freshman, and she is showing she is up to the task.”
Claassen and Kaufman faced each other in the 15th-place match. Claassen won in a tie-breaker, 8-7.
As a team, the Trojans finished tied with Trinity Catholic for seventh out of eight teams.