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HHS tennis wraps up regular season

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School girls tennis finished two points out of third place Thursday at the Trojan Girls’ Invitational in Hillsboro. The meet was the last of the regular season.

“We are still young with no seniors, but we have experience, and that should start to show,” Coach Bob Woelk said.

No. 1 singles player Becky Faber placed fourth with a 1-2 record. She got a quick start, defeating Laura Thurlow of Chapman, 8-1, on the strength of her powerful first serves and forehands.

She lost to Lizzie Degner of Hutch Trinity in the semifinals, 8-3. The match was closer than the score indicates, with Faber forcing multiple deuces. She then lost to Colleen Zirkle of Wichita Independent, 8-0, in the third-place match.

Emma Heyen placed fifth in No. 2 singles with a 2-1 record. She faced eventual first-place winner Lahkshmi Nagireddy of Wichita Independent, losing 8-2.

In the second round, Heyen defeated Christi Pignatiello of Wichita Collegiate, 8-5. She then defeated Megan Cartwright of Circle, 8-3, in the fifth-place match.

Elise Heyen and Courtney Weber placed fifth in No. 1 doubles, with a 2-1 record. They were defeated in the first round by Circle, 8-4, but went on to defeat Hutch Trinity, 8-5, and Sterling, 8-6.

Aubrey Meier and Hayley Pankratz placed fifth in No. 2 doubles. They lost a close match to Chapman in the first round, 8-6, before defeating Rachel Schneider and Lexus Sinclair of Hillsboro, 8-1. Meier and Pankratz then won the fifth-place match against Sterling in a 7-3 tiebreak.

“They are coming around,” Woelk said. “Both sets of doubles finished the day with back-to-back wins.”

Two junior varsity doubles teams played to fill the bracket because Sacred Heart didn’t enter doubles. Peyton Loewen and Erin Winter finished eighth in No. 1 doubles, and Schneider and Sinclair finished eighth in No. 2 doubles.

Out of eight teams, Wichita Independent placed first with 64 points. Sterling was second with 41 points, and Hutch Trinity was third with 35.

Mid-Central Activities Association league tournament starts 9 a.m. Saturday at Wichita Collegiate.

“Our league is super tough,” Woelk said. “We have Hesston, Collegiate, and Sterling, all with outstanding players. Smoky Valley is also strong. Again, if we show some killer instinct and mental toughness, we should fare well.

“Honestly, we have regional competition more in our crosshairs right now. League is nice, but regional competition gets us to state.”

Sub-state tournament will be Oct. 9 and 10 in Hillsboro.

Last modified Oct. 1, 2009

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