Hillsboro High School sophomore Allison Weber placed fifth in state Class 3-2-1A tennis Monday in Hutchinson, two days after the tournament was scheduled to finish.
She placed second at regional tennis, so she earned a first-round bye in the 24-player bracket on Friday. In the second-round, she played Omelia Thomas of Ellinwood in a match that was on pace to take all weekend even before rain interrupted it. Weber and Thomas played many long points with dozens of shots, and several early games went to deuce.
On three points Friday, Weber approached the net and Thomas lofted a shot over her head. On all three points, Weber was able to chase down the ball almost to the backstop and return it to keep the point alive, eventually winning all three points.
“She hits behind her better than anyone I know,” coach Bob Woelk said.
Weber gave up a break early and fell behind, 2-1, but tied the first-set score at 3 before rain interrupted the match. When play resumed on Sunday, Thomas won the first set, 6-4. Weber fell behind, 3-0, in the second set before taking control and winning four consecutive games. Weber won the second set, 6-4, so the match came down to a “super-tiebreaker” to 10 points. Weber was one point away from a loss at a score of 9-7, but she came back and won four consecutive points to win the tiebreaker, 11-9, and the match.
In the quarterfinals, Weber lost to Sara Goodwin of Kansas City Christian, 6-0 and 6-0. Goodwin eventually won the state championship with a record of 26-0 for the year.
Weber bounced back in the consolation bracket Monday to defeat Ryce Stuckey of Sterling, 9-0. Weber swept all three matches she played against Stuckey, Woelk said.
“She played really well against Stuckey,” he said. “It’s hard to beat the same player three times.”
Weber then defeated Alyssa Ediger of Coldwater-South Central, who had won the regional at Cimarron and compiled a 32-2 record entering state. In the fifth-place match, she defeated Heather Koester of Conway Springs, 9-4. Woelk said the fifth-place finish is the best for a player he has coached, ahead of Weber and her older sister, Courtney, who placed sixth in doubles in 2011.