GCHS boys' tennis ties for first
With just less than 48 hours between tournaments in one of the busiest weeks of the spring season, the Garden City Buffaloes boys’ tennis team found a way to manufacture a shared-team title.
They did just that on Thursday at the Hutchinson Invitational despite not winning any of the four divisions – No. 1 and 2 singles and No. 1 and 2 doubles. But what the Buffs did do, was play with consistency as all four divisions placed third with 3-1 records to account for their 24 points to share first place with Hutchinson-Trinity and Newton.
“We bounced back well from Tuesday’s tournament and had our best outing of the year so far,” said head coach Logan Bevis. “It was nice to grab a first place team finish, but equally important was our 4-0 record against regional opponents, with each entry picking up a win over someone from our regional.”
The eight-team field also included Dodge City, which was fourth with 22 points, Salina South with 19, Hutchinson with 17, Wichita East 14 and Buhler, 4.
With both singles players – Logan Morren and Colin Kleysteuber – finishing at 3-1, the doubles teams of Charles Stillian/Abraham Hernandez and John Tran/Josh Negron, matched those records, going 3-1 in Pool Play and then in the Final Round of cross-pool pairings.
“The singles guys both saw the eventual champions, Hutch Trinity, in the first round, which is just how it goes sometimes with these types of tournaments,” Bevis said. “As usual, there were some bumps in the roads but our guys played hard and continue to show improvement.”
Morren’s first match was hotly-contested, with the Buffs’ top singles player falling 8-5 to the Trinity player. He followed that up, though, with solid wins over players from Wichita East and Salina South before knocking off Dodge City’s No. 1 player, 8-1, in the final round match.
“Logan’s match against Hutch Trinity was extremely competitive, with some points lasting multiple minutes,” Bevis said. “While both Logan and Colin were frustrated to come up a little bit short of the title, they continue to show development, especially in recognizing different types of styles and how to counter them.”
Every match for Kleysteuber was a battle, and after he lost his opening match to Trinity, he followed it with wins over Wichita East, Salina Central and Hutchinson.
The doubles teams also had difficult matches against each opponent, winning most of those by no more than two or three games. After an 8-6 loss to Trinity, Stillian and Hernandez defeated Salina South, 8-6; Wichita East, 8-7 (5) in a tiebreaker, and Hutchinson, 8-6, in the final round.
“The doubles teams had their strongest outing of the year,” Bevis said. “Charles and Abraham were just a few points away from being in the championship match, but I think being in close matches all day will serve them well in the long run.”
Tran and Negron were the only group to have beaten a Trinity opponent, and they did so with an 8-2 triumph. But they followed that with an 8-4 loss to Salina South only to bounce back and outlast the Wichita East duo, 8-7 (6) in another tiebreak match. In their final round match, against rival Dodge, the Buffs duo won a marathon match, 8-7 (7) in second tiebreak matchup.
“Josh and John continued to show a lot of growth as they become more comfortable with tennis,” Bevis said. “They are starting to make good adjustments on their own and I was proud of the way they battled in their final match against Dodge, a thrilling tiebreak win.”
A busy week concludes on Saturday when the Buffs again are on the road at the McPherson Invitational, scheduled to get under way at 9 a.m.
1T. Garden City, Hutchinson Trinity, Newton, 24; 4. Dodge City, 22; 5. Salina South, 19; 6. Hutchinson High, 17; 7. Wichita East, 14; 8. Buhler, 4.
Garden City Results
No. 1 Singles—3. Logan Morren (3-1): Pool Play--lost to Hutchinson Trinity, 8-5; def. Wichita East, 8-2; def. Salina South, 8-3. Final round: def. Dodge City, 8-1.
No. 2 Singles—3. Colin Kleysteuber (3-1): Pool Play—lost to Hutchinson Trinity, 8-4; def. Wichita East, 8-4; def. Salina South, 8-5. Final round: def. Hutchinson, 8-5.
No. 1 Doubles—3. Charles Stillian/Abraham Hernandez (3-1): Pool Play—lost to Hutchinson Trinity, 8-6; def. Salina South, 8-6; def. Wichita East, 8-7 (5). Final Round—def. Hutchinson, 8-6.
No. 2 Doubles—3. John Tran/Josh Negron (3-1): Pool Play—def. Hutchinson Trinity, 8-2; lost to Salina South, 8-4; def. Wichita East, 8-7 (6). Final round—def. Dodge City, 8-7 (7).