The Manhattan High Girls Varsity tennis team won first place with a total score of 66 at the 2020 Centennial League in Topeka last Monday. This is Manhattan’s third straight League Championship.
The top three from the meet were Manhattan in first, Topeka Seaman in second with 60, and Hayden coming in third with 58.
In Doubles, the team of junior Hannah Loub and sophomore Maura Wiens placed fourth, going 3-2 and the team of junior Ava Bahr and senior Cooper Lohman placed sixth going 3-2 as well.
Sophomore Jillian Harkin placed first, with a score of 5-0, becoming the 2020 Centennial League Singles Champion. Senior Kayla Lei placed third, going 4-1 in Singles.This win makes Harkin a back to back League champion.
“I was super excited to be back to back League Champion, but I didn’t let myself celebrate too much because I know I still have Regionals and State ahead of me,” Harkin said.
As League was approaching, Harkin prepared by keeping her game and practicing as much as she could for the meet.
“I feel like my hard work has been paying off and it feels super rewarding to have had such good results throughout the entire season,” Harkin said.
The team continued the winning streak last Friday at the 2020 Regionals meet in Topeka at Kossover. They placed first, with Washburn Rural in second. Harkin won going 4-0 in Singles, and Lei placed second overall going 4-1. Loub and Wiens placed second in doubles going 4-1 with Bahr and Lohman placing third also going 4-1.
Regionals ended up being a great experience for the team, as all of the girls qualified for State. Harkin, also a back to back champion for Regionals, is proud of the entire team for their win.
“Regionals was a great experience for the whole team. I placed first and so did the team, and all the girls qualified for State,” Harkin said. “I am so excited to be back to back champion, and also very excited for the other girls. I am so proud that all of us are playing so well at this point in the season.”
Lei placed second at Regionals, which she wasn’t expecting.
“I was thrilled to win second. Going into the competition, I didn’t think I was going to place that high,” Lei said. “It honestly surprised me by showing me what I am capable of and really helped me gain more confidence as a tennis player.”
The season, according to Lei, had a rocky start for her. Here were some days that didn’t turn out the best, and it affected her. However, she continued working hard, practicing and building up confidence in herself at competitions.
“I continued working hard at practice and trusted myself during competitions and now feel more confident in my game and am excited to compete at State,” Lei said. “ No matter what my scores end up being, I’ll know that I truly gave it my all.”
The team will travel to Topeka again for the 6A State Tournament on Oct. 16-17.