Trojan tennis places fourth at Hesston Invitational

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
With a break here and there, the Hillsboro tennis team might have finish second at the six-team Hesston Invitational Saturday.

As it was, the Trojans, with 20 team points, placed a close fourth-18 points behind a strong Wichita Independent team, but only four points behind Wichita Collegiate and two points behind the host team.

Hillsboro picked up third-place finishes from the No. 1 doubles team of Erin Wiebe and Lora Andrews, the No. 2 doubles team of Kelsey Kaufman and Emily Railsback, and by freshman Amanda Faber in No. 2 singles.

Wiebe and Andrews lost to Independent, 2-8, the first match, then came back to beat Sacred Heart, 8-4, and Collegiate, 8-2.

“Erin and Lora seem to be beginning to gel as a team,” coach Lynn Wiebe said. “They are playing better doubles together each match by hitting angles well and closing off the net.”

Kaufman and Railsback won their first match against the Hesston “Black” team, 8-4, then lost to Collegiate, 6-8, before beating Sacred Heart, 8-1.

Faber lost in the first round to Hesston, 3-8, then picked up wins against Sacred Heart, 8-4, and Collegiate, 8-0. Wiebe praised her hustle and effort.

“In each match at Hesston, she also became more aware of hitting the ball with power,” she said. “I was very pleased with Amanda’s determination and drive.”

Hillsboro’s Danielle Hagen placed fifth in No. 1 singles, dropping matches to Independent, 0-8, and Hesston “Red,” 0-8, before coming back to beat Sacred Heart, 8-2.

“Danielle lost her first round to Jackie Lincoln of Wichita Independent, who was a state champion in doubles last year,” Wiebe said. “The score did not reflect how well Danielle played Lincoln. Danielle gave it a tremendous effort.”

Sterling-Hillsboro started a busy week with a fifth-place finish against a tough eight-team field at Sterling last Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Hillsboro scored 24 points. Smoky Valley won with 42, Hesston was second with 35, Claflin third with 30 and Abilene fourth with 26. The Trojans finished ahead of Hutchinson Trinity (22), Chapman (12) and McPherson (10).

Hillsboro’s No. 1 doubles team of Erin Wiebe and Lora Andrews finished third to pace the Trojans. The duo beat Abilene in the first round, 8-6, lost to Claflin, 3-8, then beat Smoky Valley, 8-4.

Amanda Faber, playing No. 2 singles, finished fourth. She won her opening match against Claflin, 8-5, then lost to Smoky Valley, 0-8, and Hesston, 3-8.

Hillsboro’s No. 2 doubles team of Danielle Hagen and Emily Railsback also placed fourth, winning its first match against McPherson, 8-5, then falling to Smoky Valley, 2-8, and Claflin, 5-8.

Kelsey Kaufman placed seventh in No. 1 singles, losing to Smoky Valley, 5-8, and to Chapman, 6-8, before beating McPherson, 8-3.

“I was pleased with the No. 1 doubles,” coach Lynn Wiebe said. “They played with more intensity, especially in their final match. They gained a key win over Smoky Valley.

“In the other positions, we struggled more with unforced errors, or being content just to get the ball back and not really doing anything with it.”

Junior varsity-The Trojan JV played at Hesston on Thursday. Chelsey Harmon and Amanda Bartel, playing No. 1 doubles, went 4-0. Courtney Fast and Tessa Simpson, playing No. 2 doubles, went 3-0. In singles, Audrey Weinbrenner, playing No. 2, finished 3-0, while Heather Stepanek, playing No. 1, was 1-2.

Coming-The Trojans played host to a triangular on Tuesday. On Thursday the varsity travels to Circle, with matches beginning at 3 p.m. The junior varsity will play at home beginning at 4 p.m. Next Tuesday, the varsity will be at Wichita Collegiate. Matches begin at 3 p.m.

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