Manhattan places third at State

Lasirra Hines, Entertainment Editor

The Manhattan Girls Varsity tennis team placed third overall with a score of 13 at the 6A State Tournament in Topeka last Saturday. Shawnee Mission East placed first with Blue Valley North in second.

Sophomore Jillian Harkin went 2-1, placing second. Harkin broke into semi-finals and finals, becoming the State Runner Up. Senior Kayla Lei went 1-2 in singles. 

Sophomore Maura Weins and junior Hannah Loub went 1-2 in doubles, with junior Ava Bahr and senior Cooper Lohman also going 1-2.

Harkin had a victory in semi finals before losing in finals. Weather conditions did affect how the team played.

“I had an exciting comeback victory in the semifinals before losing in the finals to a great player,” Harkin said. “The windy conditions were really tough on Saturday, which definitely played a factor.”

The other five competitors who placed were seniors from other schools, so it was exciting for Harkin to be a sophomore placing second.

“The rest of the top five who placed were all seniors, so placing second as only a sophomore is a huge accomplishment for me,” Harkin said.

This is Lei’s last year playing on the team. As a senior, she had many lasts in tennis this year, and mainly focused on giving back to the program. 

“It feels bittersweet to go through the season as a senior. I never realised how much even the littlest things mean [to me]. The last practice, last van ride back home, and even the last time going to each meet,” Lei said. “All things I never previously thought twice about, didn’t fail to make me realize how much I’ll miss being part of this team and doing what I love, playing tennis.”