Shiann Olberding

Abilene senior Shiann Olberding plays as the Cowgirls number one singles player, shown here at the Clay Center Invitational.

SALINA – Abilene senior Shiann Olberding led the Abilene Cowgirl tennis team into action at the Salina South Invitational tennis tournament Thursday in Salina.

The Salina South tournament is one of a couple larger school tournaments that the Cowgirls attend during the regular season. Both Salina high schools along with Maize, Junction City, Great Bend, Buhler and Salina Sacred Heart were the teams the Cowgirls went up against on the court.

“Salina South is another one of our toughest tournaments, but overall I was pleased with the tennis I saw throughout the day,” Abilene head coach Megan Berry said. “This is always a good test to see some different competition before we hit our league meet.”

Olberding placed fourth in the combined singles bracket for the Cowgirls. She opened with an 8-0 victory over Anna Popp from Great Bend. In her second match, Olberding defeated Alex Hutton of Buhler 8-2. She then faced Lily Perrin of Sacred Heart, the eventual champion, and lost 8-1.

Olberding then battled Emery Newton, the overall number two seed from Salina Central in the third place match. Newton won the matchup 8-6.

Abbey Brooks finished in 12th place in the singles bracket. Brooks opened with an 8-1 loss to Newton of Central before going to the consolation bracket where she met Laura Brucker of South and won a tough battle 8-7(1). Next she fell 8-1 to Great Bend’s Remi Ingram that sent her to the 11th place match.

In the 11th place match, Brooks battled Anna Popp of Great Bend 1-8.

In doubles play, Allie Cross and Bella Sims placed ninth while Abi Lillard and Maddie Beswick finished 10th.

Cross/Sims began with 0-8 decision against the number two seed Logan/Nunemaker of South. From there they went into action in the consolation bracket and won 8-2 over Sacred Heart’s Easter/Flores and then they defeated Espinoza/Elmore 8-1 from Maize before meeting their Abilene teammates in the ninth place match. Cross/Sims defeated Lillard/Beswick 8-4.

Lillard/Beswick opened play with a close match but fell 8-7(5) to Maize’s Pfeifer/Strobel. Next, they won 8-3 over Talley/Jacobson of Junction City and then took an 8-4 win against Great bend’s Huslig/Ward to reach the ninth place match and face Cross/Sims.

Central won the tournament with 63 points followed by South at 52, Buhler 46, Sacred Heart 37, Abilene 36, Great Bend 32, Maize 29 and Junction City 11.

“We still need to clean up some unforced errors,” Berry said. “But there’s some exciting tennis being played by all the girls.”

Contact Ron Preston at

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