The Garden City High School girls tennis team started its season strong on Saturday, losing only two matches during the day and claiming the team championship at the Great Bend Invitational.


"I was really happy with the energy and effort we played with," first-year GCHS head coach Logan Bevis said. "It’s always a good feeling to win a tournament, especially when all the players contributed so many points by making the finals."


In the No. 1 singles division, the Buffaloes’ Sage Riggs won the title after going 3-0 in pool play. Riggs defeated Ellinwood 8-2; Great Bend Black 8-2; and WaKeeney 8-2. In the bracketed semifinal matchup, Riggs blanked Hoisington’s Audrie Harms to advance to the championship. In the finals, she faced WaKeeney’s Caroline Brungardt again, claiming the title with an 8-3 win.


Brooke Ptacek, playing No. 2 singles for Garden City, claimed the championship after going 3-0 in pool play. She defeated Ellinwood 8-4; Great Bend Black 8-1; and WaKeeney 8-3 to advance to the bracketed side of the tournament. In the semifinals, Ptacek easily defeated Great Bend Red 8-1 to advance to the finals. She defeated WaKeeney’s Kelsey Kinderknecht for a second time on the day, this time 8-2, for the title.


"The girls were excited to play and they showed it. Sage (Riggs) and Brooke (Ptacek) were both remarkably consistent in singles throughout the day," Bevis said. "I think it built up quite a bit of confidence, especially with Brooke, considering this was only her second time every playing singles in a tourney."


On the double side, both Garden City teams finished in second place, coming up short in the championship matches, and finishing the day with 4-1 records.


The No. 1 doubles team of Ashleigh Chappel and Sydney Nanninga for GCHS went 3-0 in pool play to advance to the bracketed portion of the tournament. The pair defeated Ellinwood 8-2; Great Bend Black 8-1; and WaKeeney 8-3. In their semifinal matchup, Chappel and Nanninga defeated Liberal 8-4 to advance to the title match. In the championship, the pair fell to Great Bend Red’s Abbie Moyers and Anna Popp, 2-8, for second place.


In the No. 2 doubles division, GCHS’ Chloe Powell and Peighton Tull went 3-0 in pool play with wins over Ellinwood, 8-1; Great Bend Black, 8-4; and 8-2 over WaKeeney. In their semifinal match, Powell and Tull defeated Liberal, 8-6. Dodge City’s Becca Unruh and Jazmin Rios defeated the Bufflalo pair 8-4 in the championship match.


"While both doubles teams came up short in the finals, they played extremely hard the whole day," Bevis said. "Sydney (Nanninga), Chloe (Powell) and Peighton (Tull) were playing in their first top six varsity double tournament, so today was a learning experience for them. Ashleigh (Chappel) helped anchor them and overall two second place finished for brand new doubles teams is a good start."


Garden City is back in action Tuesday afternoon at Dodge City.