Placing first once again

Manhattan places first at final meet before League competition

Lasirra Hines, Entertainment Editor

The Manhattan High Girls Tennis team won the League with an overall score of 66 yesterday. Sophomore Jillian Harkin is the 2020 Centennial League Singles Champion, going 5-0. Harkin is 26-0 on the season, going undefeated. This is Manhattan’s third straight League Championship.

The Manhattan Girls Varsity Tennis team placed first with an overall score of 82 at the Topeka West Invitational in Topeka last Tuesday. 

This was a 10 team tournament, those placing in the top three were Manhattan in first, Salina Central in second with 78, and Washburn Rural in third with 76.

In singles, Harkin placed first overall, winning all of her matches. Harkin finished the day 48-0 in games played versus six opponents. Senior Kayla Lei placed fourth overall going 4-2.

Harkin has been on a consecutive winning streak, placing first at all of her meets. 

“It felt really good,”Harkin said. “I was going for a lot on my shots and I felt like I was playing my best.” 

Harkin has practiced immensely for years now, which is evident through her winning streak She had success last year and is continuing that throughout this season

“She [Harkin] has put in many countless hours of work on the court, even before joining our tennis program last year,” Ingram said. “That is allowing her to create her own success that she had last season and is continuing this season,” 

On to doubles, the team of junior Ava Bahr and senior Cooper Lohman placed fifth overall, going 5-1. The team of sophomore Maura Wiens and junior Hannah Loub placed seventh overall going 4-2.

“It went really well,” Bahr said. “I think Cooper and I played the best we have all season.”

Winning first at this meet helped boost the confidence of the girls and in the team’s capabilities.

“It helped us gain confidence in our capabilities as a team,” Bahr said. “We know we can accomplish big things if we keep improving and staying focused.”

The team has had a successful season so far, as they have placed first at majority of their matches, with the exception of Shawnee Mission where they placed second. It has also helped the girls get closer through practices and traveling to meets.

“The season has been really fun,” Bahr said.I’ve gotten close to all of my teammates through practice, games and van rides.”

Placing first overall has been a big accomplishment for the team, especially with six matches in one meet. The girls handled well and they had a lot of success as we can see.
“It is never easy to win, especially competing in six matches in one day,” head coach Tony Ingram said. “We have had success and it is because of the hard work our players have put in even prior to our season beginning.”

This meet was the last before the team will travel to the Centennial League where they hope to win League. Harkin believes the team has a good chance to win this year. She has also been prepping for the meet. With COVID-19 being of concern, staying healthy has been a main focus point for the team.

“I think we have a good chance of winning League this year [by] the way we are playing,” Harkin said. “I am trying to stay healthy, of course with COVID going around and just making sure I am in the best shape I can be to get through tougher matches.”

The girls are improving and preparing for League, especially committing to putting in hard work at practice after this meet. While hard work is needed, they also have to remember to have fun and play for one another. They get to have both a season and the postseason.

“The girls will continue to improve their games and having fun with their teammates,” Ingram said. “They cannot forget to have fun and play for one another, as they continue this season and remember how fortunate they are to get to have a season and postseason.”