Cowgirl champions

The Abilene Cowgirl tennis team won the Clay Center Invitational Tournament Saturday in Clay Center. Pictured from left are Allie Cross, Abbey Brooks, Maddie Beswick, Shiann Olberding, Abi Lillard and Bella Sims.

CLAY CENTER – Despite some questionable weather, Saturday ended up being a great day of tennis for the Abilene Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls nearly swept the competition at the Clay Center Invitational only dropping two matches on the day

Senior Shiann Olberding faced her stiffest competitor in her opening match of number one singles winning by a 6-6 (7-2) tiebreak and then she proceeded to roll the rest of the day. Olberding faced Beloit’s Sydney Evaristo in the first round before advancing to win over Chapman’s Sophie Jones by a 6-2 score. Jones a junior for the Lady Irish finished third in singles behind Olberding and Evaristo.

Olberding’s third round foe was Concordia’s Arista Bombardier, whom she defeated 6-0 and then she faced Wabaunsee’s Lily Ogden and won 6-0. In the final round, Olberding took care of Clay Center’s Jaylee Calloway 6-0.

“Shiann faced a good challenge in her first match,” Abilene head coach Megan Berry said. “She then rolled the rest of the day.”

In number two singles, Abbey Brooks lost her opening round match to Beloit’s LaNae Knight by a tiebreak 6-5 (7-2). She then bounced back to win her next four matches for second place in her division.

Brooks defeated Chapman’s Tiarra Martin 6-2 in the second round before taking care of Riley McMillen of Concordia 6-0. Next, Brooks won 6-2 over Wabaunsee’s Kaytlyn Meseke and finally she won 6-3 against Clay Center’s Riley Ehlebracht.

“Abbey put in some good work at number two singles,” Berry said. “After a first round tiebreak loss, she had a very successful end to the day.”

Coach Berry switched up her doubles teams entrants and the number ones came away the title while the number twos finished 4-1 for second place.

“We tried some different combos in doubles and I was pleased with the play of both teams,” the coach said.

Abi Lillard and Maddie Beswick paired to take the number one gold medal by going 5-0 on the day. The Abilene pair defeated Sage Schwerman/Riley Hess of Beloit 6-0 to open play. They then defeated Chapman’s Elizabeth Morgan/Katie Jo McIlquham 6-3 before advancing to the next round. In round three Abilene defeated Concordia’s Ciara Keam/Nicole Yurner 6-3 and then won round four 6-2 over Wabaunsee’s Kendyl Bolinder/Raegan Feyh. In the final round, the Cowgirl duo won 6-1 over host Clay Center’s Ella Girton/Tegan Stratton 6-1.

The number two doubles team of Bella Sims and Allie Cross opened the day by winning their first four matches. In the opener, the Abilene pair won 6-1 over Beloit’s Kiran Elam/Kamryn Sidener. Next, Abilene won 6-2 over Chapman’s Grace Mosher/Chelsey Armbruster. The Chapman netters would finish third in number twos behind Clay Center and Abilene.

In the third round, Sims/Cross won 6-2 over Concordia’s Liz Duvall/Teryn Tracy and then battled Wabaunsee’s Abby Ratts/Hannah Ratts 6-1. Finally, the Abilene pair met up with Clay Center’s Jay Paget/Molly Gaug and lost a tough match 4-6.

“The girls took care of business today only dropping those two matches,” Berry said.

Abilene took the team title with 46 points followed by Clay Center with 26. Beloit and Concordia finished with 22, Chapman had 21 and Wabaunsee finished with 13 points.

This week the Cowgirls head to a tough Salina South meet on Thursday.

Contact Ron Preston at

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