Tennis rests top six in beginning meet, strong in makeup

John Ostermann, Online Editor-in-Chief

The season has just begun for the tennis team, yet it still hasn’t officially started for many of the top players.

The top six players sat out of the first Varsity meet early in the season, missing the Washburn Rural Invite and letting some of the younger plays gain experience.

Junior Dylan Haar and freshman Connor Turner competed together in the No. 2 doubles bracket.

“Connor [Turner] and I played well,” Haar said. “We finished second and we were pretty proud of that. It wasn’t a team meet, so being able to place individually was important for us.”

The team has been practicing hard, getting ready for the season to really kick into gear.

“The doubles teams have been pairing up with each other and working on some separate, doubles specific drills while the singles pair up,” Haar said. “Mostly we have just been playing matches and getting that court time in to be ready for the season. We just have to take practice seriously and keep working hard.”

Some other underclassmen stepped up in their first varsity meet as well. Freshman Jon Grove won all four of his singles matches, taking first place in the No. 2 singles bracket.

Junior Michael Turnley and senior Jean Malbranque finished third in the No. 1 doubles bracket.

Freshman Dil Ranaweera took third in the No. 2 singles bracket while Senior Goncalo Matos posted third in the No. 3 singles bracket.

The Washburn Rural Quad was originally scheduled for April 3, but due to cold weather it was rescheduled to yesterday.

The team handily beat out Topeka High, Topeka West and Washburn to achieve first place in their first top-player meet.

“It helps us because it shows us what those good schools have to offer, especially with Washburn,” junior Mitch Hutchinson said. “We’ve seen their best players now and know what we will need to work on to keep winning.”

Freshman Dan Harkin and sophomore Robert Zhang paced the Indians in both singles brackets finishing 3-0 each.

The doubles teams of juniors Jack Easton and Mitch Hutchinson finished 2-1. Easton and Hutchinson easily handled the doubles teams from Topeka High and Topeka West, dispatching them 8-1 and 8-4. The Washburn doubles team handed the Manhattan team their only loss falling 8-4.

The team of junior Carson Gido and sophomore Jerin Ugrin finished 2-1 as well. Taking out Topeka High 8-0 in their first match and then losing a tie breaker to Washburn 8-7. After the loss Gido and Ugrin bounced back and finished off Topeka West 8-2.

The team will have a quick turn around as they host Junction City, Highland Park and Marysville today.