GCHS tennis finishes third at Valley Center

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Ashleigh Chappel returns a Hays' serve during a No. 1 doubles match at last year's GCHS girls tennis invitational.

A different style of format greeted the Garden City High School girls tennis team Saturday as they competed in the Valley Center Invitational. The Buffaloes responded by bringing home a third place team title.

Competitors played best of three sets in each match, with each set consisting of only four games, with tie breakers being used as sets hit 3-3.

“We struggled a little coming out of the gate, but the girls enjoyed the challenge today and there were marked improvements by all of them through out the day,” GCHS Head Coach Logan Bevis said.

Garden City’s Sage Riggs won the No. 1 singles championship, going 3-0 on the day. The Buffalo defeated Andover to open pool play 4-2 and 4-2; then defeated Maize South in an evenly played match 4-3 (2), 4-3 (2).

In the championship match, Riggs faced Madison Witt of Maize. The pair split the first two sets, then Riggs won the tiebreaker for the title, 3-4 (2), 4-3 (2), 7-3.

“This is the most competitive tournament we’ve played in so far and really helped show us some major areas we need to work on for each player/team,” Bevis said. “Sage did a great job toughing out her matches. All three opponents she faced were really solid and she responded after struggling a little early on in each match.”

The No. 2 doubles team of Rilee McGraw and Chloe Powell combined for a third place finish on the day and a 2-1 record for GCHS.

The Buffalo pair dropped their first match to Andover 4-1, 4-1, but bounced back against Maize South to pick up a 4-1, 4-1, win. In their third place match, Garden City defeated Valley Center’s Grace Brabander and Yolanda Lara in a tie breaker 4-3 (2), 3-4 (4), 7-0.

In No. 1 doubles, Garden City’s Ashleigh Chappel and Sydney Nanninga finished the day in fourth place with a 1-2 record.

Andover handed the Buffalo team a 4-0, 4-3 (1) loss in their opening match, GCHS bounced back to defeat Maize South 4-0, 4-1 to finish pool play. In the third place match, Valley Center’s Madison Blanton and Tori Turner defeated the Buffaloes in a tie breaker, 4-3 (3), 3-4 (1), 11-9.

Garden City’s No. 2 singles player, Brooke Ptacek, finished the day in fifth place, going 1-2.

In pool play, Ptacek was defeated by Andover 4-2, 4-1, and Maize South in a tie breaker, 1-4, 4-2, 7-1. The Buffalo defeated Valley Center’s Cambree Ricks in straight sets 4-1, 4-1, for fifth place.

“I thought both doubles teams and Brooke also made some good adjustments throughout the day,” Bevis said. “The scoring was a bit different than in most tournaments, but I actually think the two-out-of-three format gave us some valuable experience with bouncing back from a set loss and dealing with the pressure of tie breakers.”

Garden City will be back in action at 9 a.m. on Saturday when it hosts its home invitational at the GCHS tennis courts.