By BRETT MARSHALL
Trips to the Wichita area for high school tennis has always proved challenging for the Garden City High School Lady Buffs and Tuesday's Goddard Invitational was no exception.
The Lady Buffs finished with 14 points and a fifth-place finish as the No. 2 doubles team of Allison Doll and Tania Carmona-Pastrana were the only medal winners.
Wichita Collegiate won the team title with 28 points, with Maize second at 21, while Valley Center and Circle tied for third with 16 points. Goddard (10), Wichita West (6) and Dodge City (5) rounded out the team scores.
Doll and Carmona-Pastrana compiled a solid 3-1 record by defeating Hannah Price/Abbey Meng of Goddard, 8-6; Ceanna Trice/Amber Simon of Wichita West, 8-3; and Kaylee Knappenberger/Lauren Hutchinson of Class 4A powerhouse Wichita Collegiate, 8-6. Their lone setback came against Maize's Amanda Vo/Olivia Baalman, 8-5.
"The girls played some really good tennis and it's a good showing for them to come home with a medal in this tough of a tournament," head coach Rod Robinson said of his No. 2 group. "This was a tough day overall as the competition was probably stronger than we envisioned, but we gained a lot of experience."
The rest of the Lady Buffs squad each went 2-2 and all placed fifth.
No. 1 singles player Jannette Martinez defeated Lexi Cole of Goddard, 8-1, and Keysha Howard of Dodge City, 8-1, but lost 8-4 to Circle's Sydney Breault and to Allie Lindwall of Collegiate, 8-1. At No. 2 singles, Andrea Villela lost opening matches to Ashley Roskam of Goddard, 8-1, and Jenny Miller of Maize, 8-3, before bouncing back with wins over Amber Cooper of Wichita West, 8-3, and Chloe McNiel of Valley Center, 8-6.
In No. 1 doubles, the team of Claire Schmidt and Shai Cartmill opened with a win over Kylie Wagner and Sharon Gary of Goddard, 8-1, but then dropped consecutive matches to Melissa Connell and Molly Jaax of Circle in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (10-8), and Katie Baugess and Jill Seidl of Valley Center, 8-3. They capped off their day with an 8-3 win over Taylor Fischer and Sarah Raugewitz of Dodge City.
"We beat the teams we should have beaten and we saw the things we need to work on," Robinson said.
The Lady Buffs are back in action at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Dodge City Invitational.
It was a long trip to Lawrence with nothing to show for its journey across the state on Monday and Tuesday for the Garden City Lady Buffs golf team.
Thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning all Tuesday morning, forced tourney officials to postpone the event and with the distance involved, the Lady Buffs won't make a return trip to Lawrence.
Officials tried to wait out the storm through the morning hours, but by noon determined that the weather forecast was such that it would be difficult to get the tournament started and completed, Melinda Base, GCHS coach, said.
Next up for the Lady Buffs will be their own invitational on Thursday with a scheduled start set for 1 p.m. at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. The Lady Buffs are the defending tourney champion and senior Abbi Shaddix is the two-time defending medalist.