CHAPMAN – The Abilene Cowgirls swept the competition at the North Central Kansas League varsity tennis championships Monday in Chapman.
It was a clean sweep for the Cowgirls as they earned back-to-back championships during the last two seasons.
“It was a beautiful day today for tennis,” Abilene head coach Megan Berry said. “It was a great day for the Cowgirls.”
Rain on Saturday forced the postponement till Monday at the Chapman tennis courts.
The Cowgirls scored 50 points to claim the gold medals while second place went to Concordia with 32 points and Clay Center was third at 22. Chapman and Wamego tied for fourth at 16 points each and Marysville ended with 14 points.
“The girls really focused throughout the entire day,” Berry said. “Round robin can be pretty tough when you have that many matches and the focus was good to battle through some of those matches.”
Abilene senior Shiann Olberding capped her final season with her second league championship in as many years. Olberding was a perfect 5-0 on the day to claim the title in number one singles. She captured first last year in doubles with graduated partner Kiley Coup. Olberding also medaled as a freshman during league play.
Olberding marched through her first three matches of the day going 8-0 over Claire Wohler of Wamego, Grace Lauer of Marysville and Jaylee Callaway from Clay Center.
In the fourth round, Olberding defeated Concordia’s Arista Bombardier 8-1 to set up the championship match against Chapman junior Sophie Jones. Olberding won the match 8-1. Jones finished second with a 4-1 mark on the day.
“This year has been really fun,” Olberding said of her final season of high school tennis. “It has gone by super fast, which is sad, but I’m looking forward to regionals and state hopefully.”
If Olberding qualifies on Saturday, she will have made the Class 4A State Tennis Tournament all four years in high school. She medaled as a freshman with doubles partner Allie Beswick at 12th and last year she and Coup earned fourth place in the state.
Abilene’s number two singles player, sophomore Allie Cross worked her way through the two’s to end 5-0 at the meet. Cross defeated Wamego’s Sarah Jones 8-2 in her opening match. Next, she bested Marysville sophomore Faith Flower 8-0 to be at 2-0 going into the third round.
In round three, Cross defeated Clay Center’s Rylee Ehlebrecht 8-1 and then battled Concordia’s Riley McMillian 8-6 to advance unbeaten to the final round. In the fifth match, Cross defeated Chapman senior Tiarra Martin 8-0 to claim her first singles title in the league tournament.
Abilene also swept the doubles brackets as the number ones Maddie Beswick and Abi Lillard finished with five wins on Monday. In the opening round, the Abilene pair defeated Wamego’s C. Donahue and A. Alexander 8-1 to advance to the second round. In the second match, the Cowgirls won 8-3 over Marysville’s Kayla Spurgeon and Grace Schroller.
Next, Beswick/Lillard battled to win 8-5 over Clay Center’s Ella Girton/Tegan Stratton before moving on to the fourth round for an 8-5 battle with Concordia seniors Ciara Kearn and Macy McMillian. Finally, the Abilene pair won 8-3 over Chapman’s Katie Jo McIlquham and Elizabeth Morgan.
In number twos, Maggie Gillispie and Bella Sims won four matches and had a bye against Wamego, who did not field a second doubles team on Monday. In Gillispie/Sims’s first match on the court, they defeated Marysville’s Mikayla Sanchez/Alicia Housley 8-2. Next the Abilene pair defeated Clay Center’s Molly Gaug/Jae Paget 8-3 before defeating a pair of Concordia seniors Bethanie McCall and Nicole Turner 8-5. Finally the team of Gillispie/Sims defeated Chapman’s Chelsey Armbruster and Grace Mosher 8-1 to earn the title.
Concordia finished second in number two singles and number two doubles to earn the second place team award. Wamego was the runner-up in number one doubles.
The Cowgirls host their Abilene Invitational Tournament Tuesday before preparing for Regional Tennis on Saturday also in Abilene.
Teams scheduled for Tuesday include Chapman, Alma-Wabaunsee, Clay Center, Hillsboro and Abilene will have two teams.
Contact Ron Preston at email@example.com