Lady Trojans finish third at tennis season opener

The Hillsboro Girl’s Tennis team opened their 2020 season at home on Tuesday, Sept. 1 with the Hillsboro Invitational Tournament. The team fought hard but finished in third place behind Wichita Collegiate and Hesston in the overall team standings.

“In this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to see the girls out on the court. The Hillsboro Girls delivered an outstanding performance in their first taste of competition with other teams,” said head coach John Ruder.

Kyla Isaac fought her way to a fourth-place finish in # 1 Singles. In the first round, she lost a tough match to Hesston’s Michaela Martin 4-8, in a match that was much tighter than shown by the score. Then, she came back strong in round two against Nickerson’s # 1, Olivia Rome winning 8-1. In the battle for third place, Kyla came up short with a 2-8 finish against Pratt’s Erin Jackson.

“A fourth-place finish was a good showing for Hillsboro’s # 1 Singles player. Kyla’s game is improving daily, progress that will soon be showing up in her match results against outside competition,” said Ruder.”

Kailee Funk put up a strong performance finishing in third place with two wins and a loss at # 2 Singles. In round one, Kailee defeated Zoe Coonce from Nickerson 8-4. Then, in the second round, she lost a hard-fought match by a score of 4-8 to Hesston’s Gracie Dawes. However, in the battle for third place, Kailee played solid consistent tennis resulting in an 8-2 win over Pratt’s Baily Jackson.

“Kailee is a very coachable young lady and I am looking forward to watching her progress throughout this season,” Ruder said.”

At the # 1 Doubles position, Callie Plenert and Callie Barnhardt finished strong with a third-place finish. They started the tournament with a 2-8 loss to Hesston’s doubles team of Albin and Carlson. However, in the second round they came back strong with an 8-4 win over the team of Bontrager and Hada from Nickerson. In their final match, they defeated Pratt’s Holmes and Baker 8-1 to finish in third place for the tournament.

“It was fun to watch their team chemistry develop as they progressed through the tournament. They will become a very solid # 1 doubles team as they gain more match experience,” said Ruder.

Kate Maxfield and Cheyenne Funk also fought their way to a third-place finish at # 2 doubles. In round one, they defeated Nickerson’s Rosenberg and Shultz 8-6 in a hard-fought doubles match in which they had to come from behind to get the win. In round two, they fell to Hesston’s doubles team of John and Friesen 0-8. However, they rebounded in their final match with an 8-5 win over Pratt’s # 2 doubles team of Sterling and Sharp.

“This match ended with some clutch serving and outstanding net play by both Kate and Cheyenne. This team is working extremely hard and I can’t wait to see how far they will progress this season,” Ruder said.

“Overall, this was a great first outing for the Hillsboro Girl’s Tennis Team. I am so proud of the way they performed. Their hard work in practice along with their willingness to learn showed strong in their first matches. As they continue to work, their skills will improve and as that transfers to match play, they will put themselves into position to compete for the opportunity to advance in regional and state tournaments,” said Ruder.

Coming – Their next competition will be Thursday, Sept.10 in the Smokey Valley Invitational.