MARYSVILLE – On Friday and Saturday, the Smoky Valley Lady Viking tennis team went to Marysville to play in the Class 3-2-1A State Regionals along with 10 other teams and came home as regional champions for the second season in a row along while gaining a regional championship in dividual doubles, a runner-up trophy in doubles and a fourth-place state qualifier in singles.
Smoky Valley will now take five Lady Vikings to the Class 3-2-1A State Tournament on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 in Topeka.
In the team standings, the Lady Vikings scored 17 points to win regionals by two points over Marysville with 15 while Hesston finished third with 11 and Rossville rounded out the top four with five. Other teams competing were Alma/Waubaunsee, Hillsboro, Kansas City Christian, Marantha Christian Academy, Perry/Lecompton, Sabetha, and Salina Sacred Heart.
Individually, the senior duo of Campbell Gaskill and Karee Adam scored their second straight trip to the regionals finals with 2022 getting themselves the doubles regional championship. Gaskill and Adam will now take a remarkable 25-2 record to the state meet.
“This is the second year in a row that these two made the regional final,” noted Lady Viking head coach Vince Warbinton. “But this year it finished with a better result as Karee (Adam) and Campbell (Gaskill) had a stellar regional tournament. They dominated the competition and in four matches lost a total of just seven sets.”
Who did Gaskill and Adam have to beat to win regionals, it was teammates Lily Heline and Kayla Norberg. As runner-up the tandem of Heline, just a sophomore, and Norberg, a junior, will also travel to Topeka next weekend for the state tournament. They will carry a season record of 22-4 into the meet.
Regarding his other doubles tandem, Warbinton added, “Kayla (Norberg) and Lily (Heline) continued their terrific season by gutting out a three-set victory against a tough Marysville team on Friday and then upsetting the Hesston doubles team of Cassie Albin and Kory Kramer in the semifinals. We are very excited to watch Kayla and Lily continue to make some noise in the state tournament this weekend.”
Also qualifying for the state tournament will be senior Lena Rauchholz who finished fourth in the singles division on Saturday. Rauchholz will take a season mark of 18-9 to her fourth straight trip to the state tournament.
“Lena (Rauchholz) is now making her fourth trip to the state tournament with hopes of getting her fourth state medal.”
The other Lady Viking in singles was junior Kelsee Adam and she won her play-in match before losing to the regional runner-up in the round of 16.
Concluding his reflections on the regional tournament, coach Warbinton stated, “As a team, our 2022 Lady Vikings placed first in five of the eight tournaments they played in during the season which included defending both their Central Kansas League and Regional Championships.”
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)