By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com


SALINA – In an invitational on Saturday that was filled with high school powerhouse tennis programs, the McPherson High girl’s tennis team played like champions and not only won the team championship of the Salina Central Invitational, they also took first in the double’s competition.

As a team, the Lady Bullpups scored 113 points which outdistanced runner-up Salina South by six points. Topeka Seaman (101), St. James Academy (93) and Salina Central (87) rounded out the top five of the 15 team invitational. When you look at the other teams that participated, you see many with solid proven programs, like Arkansas City, Blue Valley Northwest, Goddard, Hays, Lawrence Free State, Maize, Maize South, Topeka West and Valley Center.

“We needed a collective effort to see how we stacked up today against some of the best in the state and we got exactly that,” explained Lady Bullpup Head Coach Tyler Brown. “Everyone made the quarterfinals which was huge for team points.”

Individually, the dynamic duo of Taylor Bruce and CeAnna Allen rose to the top and went unbeaten at 4-0 to take the Doubles Championship.

“We were anchored by Taylor (Bruce) and CeAnna (Allen) today which won the doubles draw,” said Coach Brown. “I felt like CeAnna stepped up in a big way today as I challenged her earlier in the week and she showed why she has gone to state every year and has medaled every year as well. She was clutch coming up big in the semifinals on a match point going for a big backhand while transitioning into the net, hitting a clean winner to secure their place in the finals. In the finals, Taylor and CeAnna stayed the course defeating a very good Arkansas City team which was half of the state championship doubles team of last year.”

The other doubles tandem for McPherson, Perrin Schneider and Sydney Achilles went 3-2 for the day and placed sixth.

Commenting out their play for the day, Coach Brown added, “Perrin (Schneider) and Sydney (Achilles) also had their chance at the Arkansas City duo earlier in the day making an awesome comeback being down 2-5. They fought back to get it to 6-7 (40-15) double break before falling short to lose 6-8.

As for the singles competition, McPherson placed fifth with Rachel Carlson after she went 4-1, while Carley Malm ended the day at 2-3 which was good for eighth place.

“Rachel (Carlson) was also on point for her first singles tournament of the year, only losing one match to St. James Academy and then went on to win emphatically 8-0 in the fifth-place match,” said Coach Brown as he concluded his post-tournament reflections. “Carley (Malm) started the day on a mission winning her first two matches and getting into the quarterfinals before having some knee trouble. She did finish the day but was definitely not herself going down the stretch, but she showed how to fight and compete even when not completely healthy. Looking for big things from her once she gets back 100%. It was a great day to be a Bullpup.”

The Lady Bullpup netters will be back in action on Monday when they travel to Haysville/Campus.

Lady Bullpup Individual Results:

In Singles:

Rachel Carlson went 4-1 and finished 5th

Carley Malm went 2-3 and finished 8th

In Doubles:

Taylor Bruce/CeAnna Allen went 4-0 and finished 1st

Perrin Schneider/Sydney Achilles went 3-2 and finished 6th

(Check us out at www.facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/)