ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JENNIFER PROFFITT
The Hillsboro High School tennis team got a jam-packed start to their season, playing four tournaments in only 10 days.
Coach Lonnie Isaac said: “We have opened the season with a very difficult schedule. This has not allowed us much practice time, which is much needed for a young team.”
The Trojans opened their season at the Sterling Invitational Aug. 31. The No. 2 doubles team of Candace Barkman and Kelli Just took second place in a tough field. As a team, the Trojans finished fourth out of eight schools.
The next week was the Hillsboro Invitational, which had been postponed from its original Aug. 29 date because of extreme temperatures.
The Trojans entered two teams, the Gold (varsity) and the Maroon (junior varsity). The Gold team took fourth overall and the Maroon fifth.
The Trojans’ doubles teams were the most successful. Becky Jantz and Amber Hefley, playing No. 1 doubles, took third, while the No. 2 team of Barkman and Megan Vogel finished third.
Two days later, the Trojans were back in action at the Smoky Valley Invitational. Jantz and Hefley took fourth in No. 1 doubles. HHS finished eighth out of eight teams.
With only a two-day break, the Trojans traveled to Hesston Sept. 9, and finished seventh among eight teams. Jantz and Hefley finished third in No. 1 doubles.
Isaac said, “The team has steadily improved at each tournament and Jantz/Hefley have put together two very solid tournaments at No. 1 doubles for us.
“At Hesston, the pair lost in a tie-breaker to a very good Claflin team and came back to beat a Hesston team that had beaten us four days earlier,” he said.
The Trojans will return to competition Thursday at the Circle tournament in Towanda, followed by a meet at Wichita Collegiate on Tuesday. The starting time for both events is 3 p.m.