DHS doubles very close
It's hard to define it as a problem, but it's not really a good thing either.
"A blessing and a curse," De Soto tennis coach Michael Sullivan said.
As the Wildcats have rolled through the early part of their schedule, Sullivan's two doubles teams have proven remarkably even.
Sophomore Rebekah Gulley and freshman Hana Lindbloom, who make up the No. 1 doubles team, were disappointed Saturday, finishing in second place after losing, but it was their first loss of the season.
Senior Stephanie Hoover and sophomore Hannah Konetzni meanwhile won the No. 2 doubles section of Saturday's Marysville tournament.
For Hoover and Konetzni, the success has been slower, but is really starting to progress.
"They're starting to come together as a team," Sullivan said.
The success has come as the two have learned each other's strengths.
"Stephanie's a really good doubles player. She's very aggressive at the net and she likes to play the net, which is what you need to do," Sullivan said. "Hannah's a little more tentative at the net, but she's starting to be more aggressive. She makes up for it in other ways. She's a very good lobber. As she becomes more aggressive, they're going to get better and better."
But with young and improving players in Gulley and Lindbloom ahead, making up ground won't be easy.
Either way, it's not the world's worst problem.
"If they're going to stay this close, it'll be very good," Sullivan said. "It's good to have because you know you have good teams, but it's hard to have because you know someone's got to be in the No. 2 spot."
Regardless of rank, the tennis Wildcats have jumped to a quick start this fall. After sweeping Mill Valley to open the season, De Soto was again perfect in its second and final duel of the season, besting Olathe Northwest 9-0.
Lauren Hampton cruised in singles with an 8-3 win over Janelle Wehr and only No. 2 singles player Alex Prosser had a contest even close, winning 8-6. Lindbloom, Gulley, Konetzni and Hoover all easily bested their competition, winning 8-1, 8-2, 8-0 and 8-2.
The Olathe Northwest doubles matches offered little more challenge, no team winning more than three games.
"Everyone played really strong," Sullivan said. "We thought they would be a little stronger this year. I was really proud of our team."
Sullivan said the team treasures wins over larger schools, and it got plenty of opportunity at Marysville.
Prosser finished 2-2 in No. 1 singles while the doubles teams both found success. Lindbloom and Gulley lost to Topeka 8-6 fighting for first while Hoover and Konetzni beat Topeka West 8-3 in the final round.