Tennis ends season at regionals

Danielle Murphy | social media editor

The tennis team ended its season at regionals Saturday, with a doubles team finishing just shy of a trip to state. The team finished in a tie for 6th out of 11 teams.

Sophomore Meredith Denton and junior Baylie Tharman placed seventh, defeating KC Christian in both sets, 6-0, but losing in a super tiebreaker to #2 seed Hesston and losing to #6 seed Marysville 1-6 and 0-6. 

“I think we did really well, I’m happy with how far we made it and I can’t wait to see how far we make it next year,” Denton said. “We were close to making it to state. Hopefully we can make it further along with the rest of the team next year,” Tharman said.

Baylie Tharman chases down a ball at regional tennis. Photo by Danielle Murphy.

Although he was disappointed to end the season early, coach Brendan Praeger said the team performed well. “They competed really well in one of the toughest regionals in the state. I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the teams from our region placed at state. Baylie and Meredith played a really good tournament and they improved a lot throughout the year.”

Sophomore Ava Huske won her play-in match 9-2 against Alaina Motes of Sacred Heart, and advanced to play the fourth seed Magdalene Raucholz of Smoky Valley. “It was a tough seed, and I think a few wins in the regular season could have put her in a better position to advance,” Praeger said.

Ava Huske hits a forehand at regional tennis. Photo by Danielle Murphy.

“I think I played pretty well, but next year I hope to improve on ground strokes and make it to state,” Huske said. Huske lost to Raucholz, ending her season with a 14-16 record.

Senior Danielle Murphy and junior Ava Meinhardt ended their season with a strong fight 3-6, 0-6 against fourth seed Marysville. “We played a harder team, so the outcome wasn’t the best,” Meinhardt said, “but I think we played one of our best games.” 

Ava Meinhardt and Danielle Murphy compete against Marysville at regionals.

“These two improved a lot throughout the season, and I think their record reflects how far they’ve both come since August,” Praeger said.

Sophomore Emily Meyer ended her season with a 2-9 loss against Annaliese Jorgenson of Hillsboro.

“Emily had a lot more success at doubles this year, but I think it was a good experience to play at regionals, and she did a lot of things well,” Praeger said.

Sophomore Emily Meyer competes at regional tennis. Photo by Danielle Murphy.

The team will return five of its six varsity players next season.

Graduating after playing varsity for two years, Murphy expressed her excitement for her teammates in their upcoming seasons. “Tennis is one of my favorite sports, I hate that it came to an end so quickly, it made my heart break in a kind of way,” Murphy said, “I am super happy though with how far Ava and I grew as doubles partners, I really am proud of how far the team got this season. I look forward to watching them play in the upcoming seasons.”

Wabaunsee will host the 321A State Tournament Friday and Saturday in Topeka, and then look toward the future.

“I think we have a really strong team coming back with lots of varsity experience,” Praeger said.

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