Battling below-normal temperatures and occasional showers, Hillsboro sophomore Allison Weber secured her second straight state tournament appearance by placing second at the Class 3-2-1A regional in Hillsboro this weekend.
Weber, who placed sixth in doubles at state with sister Courtney last season, earned a berth as a singles player Friday by defeating Brittanie Eskut of Lyons, 6-0, 6-0 and McKenzie Thrasher of Sterling, 6-0, 6-1, to advance to the semifinals. The top four regional finishers advance to state.
The following morning, Weber defeated Jen Stallbaumer of Sabetha, 6-4, 6-3, to set up a title match with Dani Schwarz of Marysville, who came in to the tournament as the top seed with a 28-4 record.
Weber, the No. 2 seed at 17-6, lost to Schwarz, 6-1, 6-1.
“Her best two sets were against Jen Stallbaumer in an intermittent rain shower,” Woelk said. “She showed a lot of mental toughness and hit two good cross-court winners in that match.
“Allison faced an opponent with a nearly identical style in Dani Schwarz,” he added. “They basically baselined the ball for the entire match. Schwarz had a few more winners up her sleeve.
“We will be working on that with Allison this week as we prepare for state competition. I was proud of Allison, who just went out and did the job all weekend despite horrible playing conditions.”
Hillsboro’s three other entries in the tournaments were eliminated with losses in the opening round. Erin Winter lost in to Schwarz, 6-0, 6-0 to finished with a 5-6 season record in singles.
In doubles, Peyton Loewen and Allison Gray lost to Laeny Edelman and Jessica Romines of Sabetha, 7-5, 6-1, while Bailey Kaufman and Claire Heyen lost to Amanda Walls and Kristina Enslinger of Hutchinson Trinity, 6-4, 6-4.
Loewen and Gray finished with a 2-6 doubles record for the season while Kaufman and Heyen were 3-15.
Abilene—Allison Weber finished second in No. 1 singles Tuesday at the Abilene Invitational.
Weber defeated Sophia Pitney of Abilene 6-1, Shelbi Mathis of Chapman 6-3 and Kale Erickson of Clay Center 6-0. She then lost to Ellsworth’s Rachel Herzog 6-3 in the finals. It was only Weber’s second loss to a player in Class 3A or below.
Erin Winter went 3-1 in No. 2 singles for third place, defeating Abilene’s Susie Geiger, 7-5, losing to Chapman’s Rachel Sutter, 7-5, then defeating Hannah Callan of Clay Center, 6-2, and Cheyenne Carlson of Alma-Wabaunsee, 6-2.
“It was her best performance of the year,” coach Bob Woelk said.
In No. 1 doubles, Peyton Loewen and Allison Gray lost to Marissa Schardein and Sam Reiff of Abilene, 6-2, Chapman’s Morgan Potter and Laura Thurlow, 6-0, then beat Jenny Jackson and Hannah Byers of Clay Center, 6-2, before losing to Julia Hood and Ashley Sippel of Ellsworth, 6-0, to claim sixth place.
In No. 2 doubles, Bailey Kaufman and Claire Heyen lost to Brenna Barrett and Julie Swartz of Abilene, 6-3, Chapman’s Jessie Heiman and Katy Fink, 6-1 and Eruka Swaim and Mebumi Hanamura of Clay Center, 6-0. The Trojan twosome then beat Delaney Reves and Shelby Lyons of Alma-Wabaunsee, 6-4, to place seventh.
Coming—Allison Weber will bring a 20-7 season record to the Class 3-2-1A state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Hutchinson Community Tennis Complex in Hutchinson.
The seedings had not been announced at press time.