The Garden City High School tennis team returns quite a bit of experience from a year ago, including three state qualifiers, going into 2019.
So coach Rod Robinson wanted to present a big challenge for his Buffaloes in their opening tournament of the season Friday at Maize South.
“They’re not used to a meet this strong this early in the year,” Robinson said, “so I think they got a little slap in the face of what it’s like to face great teams.”
Returning No. 1 singles player Huy Nguyen, who qualified for state a year ago, managed just 2-2 on Friday at Maize South, an event that included annual powers Maize South, Olathe West, St. Thomas Aquinas, Buhler and other teams from the usually strong eastern side of the state.
“A lot of the other teams had already played in tournaments,” Robinson said.
The No. 1 doubles team of Will Keller and Daniel Darter, who took eighth at state a year ago, also went 2-2 Friday.
The new No. 2 doubles team of Nathan and Tyler Morren had the best day for the Buffs, going 3-1 and taking second in their division. Nathan Morren, who played singles a year ago, was 20-13 and was runner-up in the WAC to Nguyen. Tyler Morren, a senior, is new to the team.
No. 2 singles player Aaron Schaffer, who is also new to the varsity team, went 1-3 Friday.
“We’re playing teams that were in state last year, so this gave them the kind of experience they need to get better,” Robinson said.
Garden City 1, Wichita Trinity 1 (2OT)
It was a stalemate between the Garden City Buffaloes girls soccer team and the Wichita Trinity Knights, as two extra periods of overtime couldn't break the deadlock between the two, ending in a 1-1 draw Friday night in Wichita.
The game on Friday was a quick turn around for the Buffaloes (3-1-2), who had to travel the following day after drubbing the Great Bend Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night at Buffalo Stadium.
Garden City started fast, opening up the scoring in the 24th minute when freshman Destinee Rojo scored her second goal in as many games to give the Buffaloes the early 1-0 lead. They were able to hold on to that lead heading into halftime up by one.
Wichita Trinity would tie things up in the 60th minute, and neither team could score the game winner in regulation, forcing the game to head into overtime.The extra session isn't much different for both teams, as neither team found the back of the net, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.
The tie on Friday is the second of the season for the Buffaloes, tying to Guymon 0-0 earlier this season. Garden City also forced six shots on goal in the entire game, shooting below their season average of 13.2 before entering the game on Friday.
First half — GC: Destinee Rojo goal, 24th minute.
Second half — WTR: Alea Bird goal, 60th min.
Shots: Garden City, 6, Trinity, 5. Saves: Garden City (Kipp 3), Trinity (Brooks 3).
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported GCHS tennis player Huy Nguyen's state placing last year. He qualified for the 6A state tournament but did not place.