For one of Great Bend High School’s girls’ tennis doubles teams, it is their last chance to get a Class 5A state medal.
Seniors Brianna Schartz and Jami McVay are taking their third trip to the state tournament.
For the other duo, it’s their first attempt at competing in the doubles division.
Junior Morgan Francis and sophomore Macy Moyers finished runners-up at a regional tournament to advance.
Both teams will represent the Lady Panthers at Arkansas City today and Saturday. The first round begins at 10:30 a.m.
“We’ve had a real good week of practice,” GBHS head coach Shannon Schartz said. “I think we’re ready to go. All four of our girls have been there before. We’ve got the experience.”
Brianna Schartz and McVay finished 13th at the state tournament last season, just one place away from finishing in the top 12 for a medal.
“They have a little pressure on themselves,” Shannon Schartz said. “They want to get into the medals. It’s their last time going to the state tournament.
“Every time we go to a tournament this year, it’s a been a little sad. It’s the last time they’d go to the WAC tournament or any other tournament.”
The Schartz-McVay combination have a record of 12-4 this season, and they took third at their regional tourney.
Moyers and Francis have a record of 9-2 together.
Moyers won a medal with a 12th-place finish in the singles competition last year. Francis has competed as a singles player at the state tournament the last two seasons.
“There should be no nerves this year,” Shannon Schartz said. “Everyone has been there before. They know what to expect from the competition.”
The Great Bend skipper said that his team has seen a lot of competition this season, and that it will definitely help heading into Friday.
“The top 3 doubles teams are Salina Central (Mackenzie Morris and Morgan Hauserman), a regional champ, Ark City (Ally Burr and Makenna Gonzales), a regional champ, and the Kapaun team (Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt), who won our regional,” Shannon Schartz said.
“We’ve played against all three this season. McPherson will probably be state champs in 4A, and we’ve played them a few times. We’ve seen some good teams, and we know we can compete with all of them.”
Area High School State Tennis Qualifiers
Jessica Johnson, Larned, 19-9
Besa Bwalya, Hoisington, 31-1
Deiah Curtis, Hoisington, 28-2
Karli Beck & Breanna Schartz, Central Plains, 29-1
Keeley Hipp & Janae Ryan, Central Plains, 26-5
Rachel Doll & Danae Patten, Ellinwood, 18-4
Mikayla Monday & Katie Shafer, Ellinwood, 23-6