Richard and Raeann Southern prevailed in a three-set marathon match on Sunday to claim the Mixed Open doubles title at the 6th Garden City Open.
The Southern combo was one of a dozen doubles champions crowned over the Saturday-Sunday weekend concluding days following Friday’s opening day of singles matches at the Garden City High School tennis complex.
The Southern’s defeated the team of Jordan Hagan and Will Keller while the team of Jeret and Jaque Johnson outlasted Scott and Angie Ackerman 8-7 (7-5) in a tiebreaker for third place in the Mixed Open doubles division.
In Mixed A doubles, the team of Jeb Kitten and Jessica Weinblatt won a straight set victory over Huy Nguyen and Sage Riggs, 6-2, 6-4 while the team of Jill and Tyler Morren captured third place with an 8-2 win over Ben and Olivia Richardson.
Also on Sunday, in Mixed B doubles, the team of Amber and Victor Hands blanked Ann Douglas and Alex Elchuck to claim that title. The third-place match saw Kristina Boudhara and Liandro Rodriguez capture an 8-3 victory over Alex Ornelas and Carole Galia.
In Mixed C doubles, a round-robin was held among four teams, with the team of Kourtney Kneeland and Kevin Nguyen going 2-0 while Joshuya Negron and Avery Just placed second with Sydney Nanninga and Ethan Ackerman taking third.
On Saturday, there were eight division champions crowned in men’s, women’s, girls and boys divisions.
In the Men’s Open doubles bracket, it was the team of Logan Bevis and Richard Southern going three sets before claiming a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory over Jason Just and Scott Ackerman.
Garden City High School seniors-to-be Daniel Darter and Will Keller paired up as they had done all spring for the Buffs and took third with an 8-5 win over Jeret and Jerry Johnson.
In the Women’s Open doubles division, Jordan Hagan and Taryn Tabor teamed up to capture first while Jaque and Jessi Johnson placed second and Alexis Powell and Ann Douglas finishing third.
Nathan and Tyler Morren won a straight-set, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Alex Phanhmaha and Ethan Rattana in the Men’s A final. The consolation final saw the team of Joseph Bliven and Robert Frizell earned an 8-3 triumph over Josiah Thomas and Bryce Harmen.
In Women’s A doubles competition, the duo of Sheryl Hillman and Donna Jarvis won an extended 8-6 triumph over Linda Motzner and Meredith Cupp. Third place went to Tiny Phan and Kimberly Mendoza by an 8-5 margin.
The Men’s B doubles division played a round-robin format, with the team of Alex Elchuck and Juan Aguilar coming out on top with Charles Stillian and Jackson Dirks placing second.
Sara and Amber Hands teamed up to capture the Women’s B doubles with an 8-4 victory over Eresay Alcantar and Hannah Kipp. Rylee Ortiz and Olivia Hannigan partnered to take an 8-6 decision from Lanae Haupt and Abbe Lebeau.
Boys and Girls C division winners also were determined Saturday as Kevin Nguyen and Joshua Negron overwhelmed Ethan and Austin Ackerman by a 6-1 count on the boys side while Kierrah and Jenicah Pinchon took the Girls C crown with a 5-5 (7-4) triumph. Kourtney Kneeland and Avery Just earned third with a 6-5 (7-4) victory over Kyra Linenberger and Olivia Palmer.
The tournament got under way on Friday with temperatures reaching into the low 100s by the afternoon hours, putting players of all ages and divisions on high stress levels.
Petr Grigorev won a straight set, 6-4, 6-3 triumph over defending champion Logan Bevis to claim the Men’s Open singles crown while in the Women’s Open division, Jordan Hagan won a round-robin format by beating Taryn Tabor and Olivia Richardson.
Other singles winners were Ben Richardson (Men’s A), Tiny Phan (Women’s A), Alex Ramirez (Men’s B), Hannah Kipp (Women’s B), Joshua Negron (Boys C) and Jocelyn Kennedy (Girls C).
There were more than 225 entries in the three-day tournament, according to Heather Kneeland, tournament director, a sizable increase from 2017 when there were 163 entries.
“I think a lot of it’s just word of mouth,” Kneeland said after the tournament concluded. “Once they come, I think a lot come back because they enjoy the tournament. And they bring others back with them.”
Kneeland said she had utilized Facebook for messaging about the tournament, while also sending out notices to high schools and to various newspapers in a five-state area.
She said there were players from Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas in addition to players from eastern, north central, northwest, south central and southwest Kansas. Sixteen different communities were represented from Kansas, Kneeland said.
The 2019 Open will be played May 31 to June 2.