WINFIELD – It was a rewarding weekend for players and coaches at the Class 4A State Tennis Tournament in Winfield according to Abilene head coach Megan Berry.
“To see the girls compete with the best in the state is all you can ask for,” Berry said.
Berry and assistant coach Diane Wildman took regional qualifiers Shiann Olberding, Allie Cross, Abi Lillard and Maddie Beswick to Winfield to compete against some of the best tennis players in the state.
Senior Olberding qualified for her fourth state tournament in tennis. She had medaled twice while playing doubles. This was Shiann’s first year competing in varsity singles.
“Shiann capped off a tremendous career playing her best tennis of the season,” Berry said about Olberding who medaled for eighth place. “The improvement she showed throughout the season adjusting to singles was exciting. Nothing showed that more than her state match against Halle Krehbiel of Hesston. Shiann took her to the brink and gave her quite the challenge in their third meeting this season. People took notice of the way Shiann played throughout the weekend.”
Sophomore Allie Cross qualified in her first varsity regional at the Abilene Regional in singles.
“Allie played really well on Friday but came up just short in her matches,” Berry said. “She represented Abilene well in the singles field.”
Abilene’s third entry at the state tournament was its number one doubles team of Abi Lillard and Maddie Beswick. They lost their first match on Friday after a bye with a difficult draw right off the get go.
“Abi and Maddie played really well on Friday despite the tough draw of having to face Wichita Collegiate in their first match,” coach Berry said. “They struggled a bit on Saturday but they won where it counted. Very exciting to see those two medal in their first state tournament.”
Lillard and Beswick placed 12th in the state in doubles.
The Cowgirls will miss Olberding next year but she is the only senior on the squad.
“Abilene tennis is in good hands with the returning experience of these state players,” Berry said. “I’m excited to see how they use this to get even better and fight to get back there next year.”