Manhattan takes first place for home tennis meet

Lasirra Hines, Entertainment Editor

Manhattan came in first place at the home meet they hosted last Tuesday, with Washburn Rural coming in at a close second.

The Manhattan High Varsity girls tennis team placed first overall at their only home meet at the City Park courts last Tuesday, playing a quad with Marysville High, Junction City and Washburn Rural. Sophomore Jillian Harkin, the No. 1 single, went 3-0, and senior Kayla Lei, the No. 2 single, also went 3-0. Sophomore Maura Wiens and junior Hannah Loub, the No. 1 doubles, went 2-1, and juniors Ava Bahr and Cooper Lohman, the No. 2 doubles, also went 2-1.

The girls were much improved compared to the last meet at Emporia, being more consistent with serves.

“We were more aggressive at the net, which we had talked about, and we were more consistent with serves,” head coach Tony Ingram said. “So from that standpoint, we improved from when we last competed.”

With this early season meet being the only home meet the team has, Ingram didn’t want the girls to feel too much pressure for one game, especially with friends and family being there to watch and to just enjoy it.

“So just to enjoy it because it was their one opportunity to play on their home court, so they practice that,”Ingram said.

Bahr and Lohman went 2-1, losing their last match, however it was a close game. They haven’t talked much about goals, but making it into the postseason is a hope for the pair.

“We’re just trying to make it as far as we can into the postseason. A lot of our other teammates have been there before,” Lohman said.

As mentioned by Ingram, being more consistent is an improvement that the girls are working on. The games can be tough mentally for the girls as well.

“We had two matches already, they were pretty easy but it’s still mentally tough,” Lohman said. “Just being more consistent would definitely help.”

This was Lei’s last home meet, as she is a senior. Ingram is proud of her, especially being her last year at Manhattan High.

“She played well going 8-0, 8-0, 8-0, she did a good job,” Ingram said, “And so I was proud of her to have that opportunity to play in front of friends and family there, it being her senior year.”

The main focus is getting as much practice as the team can to ensure they play their best by October. The doubles are only two meets in, which means the more they practice, the more they get to learn about each other and play well on the courts.

“Right now is just kind of learning each other, our doubles are still only two tournaments in and playing with each other,” Ingram said, “And the more they get to play with each other and have those opportunities, the more cohesive they’ll be on the courts.”