By Staff for

            HESSTON – It was a good way to open the 2022 season for the McPherson High girls tennis team on Wednesday as they scored a first-place championship on the road at the Hesston Invitational.

            The Lady Bullpups finished the day with 25 team points, four points ahead of second-place Buhler who had 21. Smoky Valley finished third with 18 points while Wichita Collegiate, Hesston, Wichita Trinity Academy, Maize South and Abilene the final team standings.

            “I was extremely proud of the team today,” noted Lady Bullpup head coach Tyler Brown. “We graduated seven very talented seniors and I felt like several people have just written us off. But as I have talked with others that ask about the team – I like to think we don’t rebuild, we reload!”

            Taking first for McPherson were freshman Maryn Sandbo in number two singles and the sister tandem of Riggs and Brodie Kuhn at number one doubles. Both finished 3-0 for the day.

            Speaking of the champions for the day, coach Brown said, “Maryn (Sandbo) did not disappoint, coming on the varsity scene as a freshman and winning her first varsity meet of her career. Much like her sister, by the time she got to the championship match she was attacking the ball and moving her opponent around the court while playing some unbelievable tennis. Even our doubles duo got better with each match as Riggs and Brodie Kuhn were able to go 3-0 in number 1 doubles and beat a very good Buhler team 8-1 in the championship match. Even though Riggs and Brodie are sisters, they have not had a lot of matches in actual tournament play and I can’t wait to see their growth by the end of the season.”

            At number two doubles, juniors Paige Stucky and Lauren Rogers finished second after going 2-1 for the day after losing to the duo of Kayla Norberg and Lily Heline of Smoky Valley in the finals.

            “Our number two doubles of Paige (Stucky) and Lauren (Rogers) looked good in their first two matches but ran into a Smoky Valley team that was just locked in and made very few errors.”

            The final Lady Bullpup competing was junior Kyndall Sandbo playing number one singles and placing fifth after losing her first match before bouncing back to win her final two matches.

            Speaking of Kyndall, coach Brown pointed out, “Kyndall (Sandbo) opened up with a very tough match playing state medalist Olivia Fredrick of Buhler. After that tough loss it is easy to be frustrated and let the rest of the day affect your outcome, but she let none of that affect her and even played some of her best tennis in her final match of the day.”

            Brown concluded his reflections on the season opener by adding, “Even though we have a team with zero seniors, this team can still be very good! The fact we were able to win at Hesston today says a lot about these girls as this was not the easiest of opening meets and there was a lot of talent on the courts today.”

            The Lady Bullpup tennis team will make their 2022 season home debut next Thursday.

(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at