BY JIM MISUNAS
To hear Central Plains Oilers Brynna Hammeke and Kyla Metro tell it, playing quality tennis doubles is a matter of strong communication. Hammeke and Metro are talking and listening quite well.
They've carved together a 18-4 record after placing fifth at last year's 3-2-1A state tournament. An old rival, Sterling's Karissa Wilson/Aubrey Anderson spoiled their day Thursday with a hard-fought 8-6 victory in the championship match of the Oiler Invitational at Great Bend's Shannon Schartz courts.
Sterling is the type of match, they'll see at 3-1A regionals which starts Oct. 10 at Phillipsburg. The Oilers defeated Ellinwood and Lyons in their other matches Thursday.
"It helps us get ready for regionals," Metro said. "We've learned we need to talk to each other more. We know we can always come back and try not to let down. We had a lot of fun last year the way we played."
Hammeke said they learn something from every match. They've lost matches to Smoky Valley, Wichita Collegiate and expected top regional seed Norton's Dylan Hawks/Sarah David.
"Depending on the competition, we've played pretty well," Hammeke said. "We've had some rough matches, but we've stayed stable. The talking and encouraging each other really helps us."
Hammeke/Metro avenged an early-season 8-4 loss with a quality 6-2, 6-1 win over Smoky Valley's Karik Elliott/Lena Raucholz.
"We were excited to play them," Hammeke said. "Our encouragement really helped that day."
It was the Oilers' No. 2 doubles team Jennah Jeffrey/Lauren Oeser that took care of business with a dominating 8-1 championship victory over Sterling's Ella Wellman/Maddy Chesney.
Sterling's Riley Richter won No. 1 singles with an 8-1 victory over Ellinwood's Daphne Doll. Sterling's No. 2 singles Kate Rowland downed Ellinwood's Kiley Troyer 8-1 in the championship match. Sterling (25) placed first and Central Plains (14) finished runner-up.
TEAM SCORES—1—Sterling 25; 2—Central Plains 14; 3—Ellinwood 12; 4—Lyons 2; 5—St. John 0
NO. 1 SINGLES—1—Riley Richter, Sterling def. Daphne Doll, Ellinwood, 8-1; Doll def. Brooks Armstrong, CP, 8-2; Richter def. Armstrong, 8-0
NO. 2 SINGLES—1—Kate Rowland, Sterling def. Kiley Troyer, Ellinwood, 8-1; 3—Elizeia Knapp-Blehm, CP; Rowland def. Knapp-Blehm, 8-0; Troyer def. Knapp-Blehm, 8-6
NO. 1 DOUBLES—1—Karissa Wilson/Aubrey Anderson, Sterling def. Brynna Hammeke/Kyla Metro, CP; 8-6; 3—Monica Hammeke/Wittney Hammeke, Ellinwood def. Bella Bryant/Jayme Belote, Lyons, 8-6; Wilson/Anderson def. Hammeke/Hammeke, 8-3; Wilson/Anderson def. Bryant/Belote, 8-6; Hammeke/Metro def. Hammeke/Hammeke, 8-5; Hammeke/Metro def. Bryant/Belote, 8-1
NO. 2 DOUBLES—1—Jennah Jeffrey/Lauren Oeser, CP def. Ella Wellman/Maddy Chesney, Sterling, 8-1; 3—Madisyn Schlochtermier/Grace Hoskins, Ellinwood def. Shelby Johnston/Victoria Contreras, Lyons, 8-3; 5—Emma Koelsch/Addi Ward, SJ; Jeffrey/Oeser def. Schlochtermier/Hoskins, 8-2; Jeffrey/Oeser def. Johnston/Contreras, 8-1; Jeffrey/Oeser def. Koelsch/Ward, 8-1; Wellman/Chesney def. Schlochtermier/Hoskins, 8-1; Wellman/Chesney def. Koelsch/Ward, 8-1; Wellman/Chesney def. Johnston/Contreras, 8-0; Schlochtermier/Hoskins def. Koelsch/Ward, 8-5; Johnston/Contreras def. Koelsch/Ward, 8-6