Girls tennis earns silver, gold on back-to-back days

Amelia Knopp, Page Editor

The Manhattan High Varsity girls tennis team picked up a pair of top-two finishes in back-to-back meets this week. 

On Monday, the girls took second behind defending state champions Shawnee Mission East in the Junction City Quad. 

No. 1 singles player junior Jillian Harkin earned a record of 2-1 (8-0, 7-8(6), 8-0), with her only loss coming against the two-time state champion out of Shawnee Mission East. 

“I think I need to improve my fitness and just my confidence in my game, and it’s getting better every week,” Harkin said. 

Junior Maura Wiens, the No. 2 singles player, left with a record of 2-1 (8-5, 2-8, 8-0). 

Both the No. 1 doubles team of seniors Ava Bahr and Hannah Loub and the No. 2 doubles team of juniors Jessica Zhang and Erin Craft went 2-1 on Monday, as well. 

“Our playing was a little bit touch-and-go on Monday, for me and Ava at least,” Loub said. “But I think that we had a really good comeback on Tuesday, and that really shows our competitive spirit and our drive.” 

On Tuesday, Ingram’s squad took home gold in the Washburn Rural Invite. 

Both Harkin and Maura Wiens left with records of 3-0, while both doubles teams went 2-1. 

According to Ingram, playing two days in a row was effective preparation for the postseason. “When we go to Regionals, there are going to be back-to-back days, and the State tournament will also be back-to-back days,” Ingram said. “So it gives us an opportunity to feel what that feels like in competition and pressure situations in back-to-back days.”

The arrival of cooler fall weather also prevented fatigue over the two day span. 

Harkin said she was proud of the team for powering through the meets. 

“We were pretty tired at the end of the day on Tuesday,” Harkin said. “But we finished with a win [on Tuesday], so I think we all handled it pretty well.” 

The girls’ next matches are scheduled in Emporia on Monday, Sept. 27.