LYONS— Jahtziri Lara and Jordan Ewing picked up a win in No. 1 doubles while Allison Muth and Madison Murphy collected a victory in No. 2 doubles as the Panther JV tennis team opened season play Thursday. The Panthers placed fifth out of five teams competing while Ashland finished the day in first place. Host team Lyons came in second with Pratt and Chaparral placing third and fourth.
“We had a rocky start but the girls progression through the matches is what I was impressed with,” said coach Dustin Weeler. “In the end the girls came out playing much better than how we began the matches.”
Winds in excess of 20 mph whipped across the courts during Thursday’s opener as Lara/Ewing posted a 6-4 win over Chaparral’s Emily Yoder and Jenny Kein. The Great Bend duet then fell in a 6-3 decision to Pratt’s Eadie Monaghan and Cassie Van Slyke to finish 1-1 on the afternoon.
In the second flight of doubles Muth and Murphy defeated Hannah Foley and Kytrena Hightree of Chaparral by a score of 6-5 before falling to Ashland’s Jacki Endicott and Calley Kellenburger in a 6-0 shutout.
Great Bend struggled in singles play losing sets against upperclassmen competition.
In No. 1 singles, sophomore Addison Ingram fell 6-0 to Jadyn Snyder of Lyons. Ingram then dropped a pair of 6-0 decisions to Lizzie Amaro of Pratt and Ashland’s Maeghan Matson.
Junior Maddy Otter fell to McKayla Vincent by a 6-0 score before falling to Pratt’s Ciara Hodgkinson and Chaparral’s Maddie Myers by scores of 6-0 and 6-2.
Meanwhile in Dodge City junior Kira Cook and sophomore Gentry Schneider accompanied the Great Bend freshmen squad in their first match of the season.
Ten teams competed at Thursday’s freshmen meet as Dodge City B won the event with 27 team points. The Panther freshmen placed seventh with 10 team points.
In No. 1 singles Jessica Nieto had an impressive day winning three out of four sets and won a tie breaker against Meade to finish in third place. Nieto recorded a 6-0 victory over Garden City before winning the tie breaker against Meade by scores of 6-5 and 7-4. She suffered a 6-0 setback to Dodge City B team before finishing up strong with a 6-4 win against Larned.
Audrey Muth fell in four sets to Garden City (6-4), Meade (6-2), Dodge City B (6-0) and Larned (6-0) in No. 2 singles.
In doubles competition, Cook and Schneider dropped four sets in the first flight to Garden City (6-1), Meade (6-2), Dodge City B (6-2) and Larned (6-2).
Priscilla Ramirez and Lexi Ratcliff represented No. 2 doubles and finished at 2-2 good for fourth place. The pair opened competition with a 6-3 victory over Garden City before defeating Meade in a 6-5 and 7-5 tie breaker. Ramirez/Ratcliff then dropped their last two sets to Dodge City B and Larned by scores of 6-3 and 6-3.
The Great Bend varsity will begin their season next Thursday, September 3 at McPherson.