Wildcats take fifth at Baldwin tennis meet
De Soto tennis coach Michael Sullivan had a feeling his squad might be at its best last Wednesday at Baldwin.
"I think we knew going in that we probably wouldn't finish quite as high as we've done in the past because we've got a lot of young kids who are on varsity and competing at new levels that they're not quite used to yet," Sullivan said,
But despite having a squad that has only four upperclassmen, the team's fifth place showing was tolerable.
Senior Kara Doherty was De Soto's No. 1 singles player and went 2-2. She lost to Lansing's Amy Briggs, 8-2, defeated Bonner Springs' Jessica Mitchell, 8-0, lost to Marysville's Sam Weeks, 8-6, and beat Chanute's Lauren Galemore, 8-4.
"The two players she (Doherty) lost to were quality players," Sullivan said. "The Marysville girl was half of the doubles team that own state last year and she played with her pretty well.
"She won the ones she was supposed to and competed in the others, so I was real pleased in how she did."
No. 2 singles player sophomore Emily Bilger went 1-3, losing to players from Lansing, Marysville and Chanute. She defeated Bonner Springs player Joyce Hilario, 8-0.
"She did OK," Sullivan said of Bilger. "There were a couple of the matches she probably could have competed a little bit better in but she's still kind of learning and making that adjustment.
"Last year she played JV singles and some doubles, so I think she's still kind of adjusting to that next level of competition, and as the year progresses she's going to keep getting a little bit closer."
De Soto's No. 1 doubles team of Suzie Gulley and Hana Lindbloom continued their winning ways by going 5-0. They beat Lansing, 8-4, Bonner Springs, 8-0, Marysville, 8-3, and Chanute, 8-1.
De Soto's No. 2 doubles team of Hanna Tramel and Pearla Jacobo went 0-4. They lost by scores of, 8-0, 8-6, 8-1, 8-6.
Next up for the Wildcats is two meets at home this week. The first is a triangular with Kansas City Christian and Shawnee Mission West Thursday Sept. 25. And the Wildcat Invitational is this Saturday.
Sullivan said Saturday's meet would be an eight-team meet and the pairings would be somewhat similar to the state meet format. He said they wouldn't separate the No. 1 and No. 2 players, which he felt was good because it allows players to compete against other talent.
And Sullivan summed up the competition of this week's home meets.
"All of our kids will definitely have a challenge on our hands," he said.