GCHS girls grab Hutchinson tennis tourney title

GCHS Athletics
Garden City High School's Payton Tull hits a backhand shot in a doubles match in September during the GCHS girls tennis invite.  The Buffaloes captured the team title on Tuesday at Hutchinson.

HUTCHINSON - One day after capturing its sixth consecutive Western Athletic Conference title, the Garden City High School girls’ tennis team hit the road again to the postponed Hutchinson Invitational and came home with another first-place award in hand.

In the five-team round-robin format, the Buffs won three of the four divisions to finish with 22 points to easily outdistance host Hutchinson Blue’s squad with 16 points. Dodge City was third with 11, Newton fourth with 10 and Hutchinson White’s team had 5.

The quick turnaround also provided head coach Logan Bevis an opportunity to mix the lineup in advance of Saturday’s Class 6A regional tournament at Dodge City.

In doing so, senior Sage Riggs was able to play her final regular-season tournament in No. 1 singles, where she was flawless in a 4-0 romp to the individual gold medal. Riggs, who has played No. 1 doubles all season with Sydney Nanninga after playing No. 1 singles in 2020, included in her victims Tuesday Hutchinson’s Gracie Foster by a dominating 8-2 margin. Foster had beaten Riggs in the 6A regionals each of the last two years.

“She did not disappoint,” Bevis said of Riggs, who has more than 100 career wins in her four years of playing for the Buffs. “It was great to see her playing singles again, and she made the transition well, playing solid all day. The win over Foster was impressive.”

Payton Tull, who usually is paired with Chloe Powell at No. 2 doubles, played No. 2 singles and posted a 3-1 record to take second place. Her wins came against players from Newton and the two Hutchinson players while her lone setback came against Dodge City.

“Payton was excited to step onto the singles court for the first time in her varsity career and she thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” Bevis said. “She walked away from the day with a newfound respect and perspective for singles, and I loved the effort she put into each of her matches, several of which were quite physically demanding.”

Playing No. 1 doubles was the usual partner, Nanninga, who was paired with usual No. 1 singles player, Brooke Ptacek. All the new pairing did was march through with a perfect 4-0 mark, with wins over Dodge City’s No. 1 squad, Newton, Hutchinson’s No. 1 pairs from both teams.

“They defeated two teams who figure to be right in the thick of the regional championship Saturday from Dodge City and Hutchinson,” Bevis said of two of the wins by Nanninga and Ptacek. “Throughout the day, there were some challenges for Brooke while she re-acclimated to doubles. But overall, the duo played well together and came through in the big moments when the matches began to tighten.”

Powell and Palmer, paired together for the first time all season, also went 4-0 en route to their division victory. Their closest matches came against Hutchinson’s Blue and White squads.

“Like their (No. 1) teammates, they were able to overcome these challenges to win their group,” Bevis said. “It took Alivia awhile to get in the groove for doubles, but once they found their footing in matches, their consistency proved too much for their opponents. Overall, the two had a lot of fun playing together and it showed in some of their success on the court.”

Team Scores

1. Garden City, 22; 2. Hutchinson Blue, 16; 3. Dodge City, 11; 4. Newton, 10; 5. Hutchinson White, 5.

Garden City Results

Singles

No. 1—1. Sage Riggs (4-0): def. Andrea Morales, Dodge City, 8-2; def. Catia Sawatsky, Newton, 8-1; def. Gracie Foster, Hutchinson Blue, 8-2; def. Ayla Booe, Hutchinson White, 8-0.

No. 2—2. Payton Tull (3-1): lost to Michaela Mink, Dodge City, 8-3; def. Alexis Wilson, Newton, 8-5; def. Darby Benson, Hutchinson Blue, 8-2; def. Mackenzie Moore, Hutchinson, White, 8-0.

Doubles

No. 1—1. Sydney Nanninga/Brooke Ptacek (4-0): def. Becca Unruh/America Gamez, Dodge City, 8-5;

Def. M. Oswald/R. McCord, Newton, 8-1; def. T. Hines/L. Jackson, Hutchinson Blue, 8-5; def. M. Suppes/K. Villanueva, Hutchinson White, 8-3.

No. 2—1. Chloe Powell/Alivia Palmer (4-0): def. A. Hernandez/C. Pfaff, Dodge City, , 8-2; def. L. Schloeneger/T. Redington, Newton, 8-0; def. M. Suppes/L. David, Hutchinson Blue, 8-5; def. E. Foos/A. Unruh, Hutchinson White, 8-3.