Trojan tennis team battles stiff competition at Hesston

An eighth-place finish by Erin Wiebe and Candace Barkman in doubles play was the highlight of Hillsboro’s performance at the Hesston Invitational Tennis Tournament Saturday.

As a team, the Trojans placed sixth among seven varsity teams with 14 points. Claflin won the tournament with 51 points.

The duo of Wiebe/Barkman opened with an 8-1 win over Arpin/ Newman of Sacred Heart, then lost to Buhrman/Lamb of Hesston 2-8, Swenson/Rawson of Smoky Valley 6-8 (5-7), and Miller/Polam of Wichita Independent 2-8.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the play of Erin and Candace,” coach Lynn Wiebe said. “They played well against Hesston-the games were much closer than the final score would indicate-and they came from behind against Smoky Valley, but then just lost in the end.”

The rest of the team had a tough go of it. Jessica Boese (1-2) defeated teammate Kelsey Kaufman (0-3) in singles for 11th place. Kelli Just and Angie Claassen went 0-3 with one bye in doubles for 12th place.

“Everybody else struggled, but they were playing in positions they hadn’t played before, too,” Wiebe said.

With a few tournaments under its belt, Wiebe said her team is beginning to find the combinations that will be most effective for the rest of the season.

“It’s been a learning process, but we’re making progress,” Wiebe said.

In junior varsity matches at Hesston, HHS placed eighth among 10 team. Marci Wodke was 0-2 in No. 1 singles and Audrey Ediger was 0-2 with a bye in No. 2 singles.

Mallory Blecha and Danielle Hagen were 1-2 in No. 1 doubles, and Gina Andrews and Whitney Washmon were 1-2 with a bye in No. 2 doubles.

The Trojans had been scheduled to compete in Lindsborg last Thursday, but rain forced a postponement until Oct. 3.

This week, Hillsboro was to host a triangular yesterday. On Thursday, the team will travel to Towanda for a triangular beginning at 3 p.m.

The following Tuesday, the Trojans are scheduled to be in Wichita for matches at Wichita Collegiate. Those matches also will start 3 p.m.

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