GCHS wins home girls tennis invite title

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Sydney Nanninga hits a forehand shot cross court Saturday during a doubles match in the GCHS girls tennis invitational at the GCHS tennis complex. Nanninga and partner, Ashleigh Chappel, won the doubles division.  The Buffaloes, as a team, won the tournament's championship.

The Garden City High School girls’ tennis team concluded homecoming week for the school Saturday by winning its home invitational by seven points over second place team finisher, Colby.

The Buffaloes ended the day with 81 points to Colby’s 74. Dodge City finished third with 62.

The tournament was set up in an open format with strictly singles and doubles divisions, with no No. 1 or 2 separate divisions. The bracketed format is used at both regional and state tournaments.

Garden City’s doubles team of Ashleigh Chappel and Sydney Nanninga set the pace for the Buffaloes by winning the championship in the division.

The pair, finishing 4-0 on the day, opened the tournament with an 8-0 win over Hays. They they faced Cimarron’s Elizabeth and Emily Goetz in the quarterfinals and defeated the Bluejays 8-6. In their semifinal match, Chappel and Nanninga faced off against teammates Payton Tull and Alivia Palmer. Tull and Palmer were playing on a “Community Team” made up of players from several of the schools attending the invite.

Chappel and Nanninga won the match 8-6 to advance to the finals. In the finals, they faced Great Bend’s Abbie Moyers and Anna Popp and defeated the Panthers 8-6.

“Our one doubles team, Ashleigh and Sydney, had a great day and won the title over a really solid Great Bend team,” GCHS Head Coach Logan Bevis said. “They had lost to those girls 8-2 the first time they played, so it was great to see the growth they’ve made in the past few week and the intensity they played with today.”

Garden City’s top singles player, Sage Riggs finished the day with a 3-1 record and third place.

Riggs defeated Hays 8-1, then Sammy Nguyen of Dodge City, 8-1 in the quarterfinals. Hayden Bellany of Colby got the best of Riggs in the semifinals 8-6. In the third place match, the Buffalo defeated Scott City’s Malorie Cupp, 8-2.

“Sage had a tough match and loss in the semis, but she did a solid job of recovering to take third place in a commanding fashion,” Bevis said. “It was tough to see her lose that match, but I think it’s the type of match that will help prepare her for the tension of post-season play.”

GCHS’ other singles player in the tournament Brooke Ptacek finished in fifth place with a 3-1 record on the day. Ptacek defeated Great Bend, 8-0, to open the tournament, but lost to Mackenzie Dodson of Colby, the eventual tourney champion, 8-6. She bounced back after the loss to defeat Hays, 8-5 and the Dodge City’s Nguyen, 8-2, for a fifth place finish.

“Brooke had her best tournament of the year so far, securing fifth place,” Bevis said. “Her only loss on the day was to the eventual champion, 6-8, in a match that could have went either way.”

The doubles team of Rilee McGraw and Chloe Powell finished the day in seventh place with a 2-2 record.

The pair opened with an 8-2 win over Great Bend, but then lost to Tull and Palmer in the quarterfinals 8-4. The GCHS pair then dropped a match to Cimarron’s Goetz pair, 8-6, before defeating Colby’s Kaitlynn Faber and Dani Schroeder for seventh place.

Rilee and Chloe had a lot of success against other schools No. 1s today,” Bevis said. “Their losses were to solid opponents and I’m happy with how they completed.”

The team of Tull and Palmer led the Community Team with a 3-2 record and a fourth place finish in the doubles competition.

They opened with an 8-3 win over Cimarron’s Mariah Dechant and Sadie Jantz, then handled Scott City’s Sadie Hermosillo and Isabela Gutierrez-Myers 8-4. The pair then defeated McGraw and Powell in the quarterfinals, 8-4, but fell to Chappel and Nanninga in the semifinals, 8-6. Dodge City’s Jewell Escobar and Mariana Ortiz defeated the local pair for third place, 8-2.

“Payton tull and Alivia Palmer, who played for the Community Team, but are two of our girls had an amazing day,” Bevis said. “…taking fourth place and upsetting Scott City’s No. 1 doubles team that placed ninth at the 4A State tournament last year.”

Scott City had two top five finishes in the tournament.

In singles, Malorie Cupp finished fourth with a 3-2 record. She opened play with an 8-5 win over Liberal, then an 8-2 win over Hays to advance to the semifinals. Cupp dropped that match to Colby’s Dodson, the eventual champion. In the third place match, she lost to Garden City’s Riggs, 8-2.

Riley Stoppel and Maidson Westergard of Scott City went 3-1 in the doubles competition to take fifth place. The pair defeated Dodge City’s Becca Unruh and America Game, 8-0, then lost to Great Bend 8-3 in the quarterfinals. They then defeated Colby 8-3 before winning the fifth place title over Cimarron’s Goetz pair, 8-4.

Others in the tournament for the Beavers were Laia Mur in singles, who finished in 12th place with a 1-3 record, and the doubles team of Hermosillo and Gutierrez-Myers who went 3-1 on the day for ninth place.

For Cimarron, the Goetz doubles team finished 2-2 for sixth place. They defeated Colby 8-4, then lost to Garden City’s Chappel and Nanninga. the bounced back and defeated GCHS’ McGraw and Powell, 8-6. In the fifth place match they were defeated by Scott City’s Stoppel and Westergard, 8-4, in the fifth place match.

Others competing for the Bluejays, and their records, include singles players Melody Carter, 10th place with a 3-1 record, and Dani Kugler with a 2-2 record for 13th. The doubles team of Mariah Dechant and Sadie Jantz finished with a 1-2 record and 18th place.

For Ulysses, Anissa Terraza finished in 19 place with a 0-2 record, and Shamra Findley went 0-1 in the tournament. In doubles, Isis Hill and Talya Martinez went 1-2 for 19th place and the Tigers’ Cindy Cortez and Vanessa Ramirez went 0-3 for 20th place.

Colby took the top two placings in the singles competition as Mackenzie Dodson won the event and Hayden Bellamy took second. In doubles action, GCHS’ Chappel and Nanninga won the championship and Great Bend’s Abbie Moyers and Anna Poppyseeds were second.

‘Overall it was a pretty good day for us, a good lead in to the heart of our season and post-season play,” Bevis said. “The girls know we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our goals, but they were happy to win our home meet and continue moving in the right direction.”

Garden City will be back in action Thursday at Hutchinson.

Garden City High School's Sage Riggs hits a backhand shot Saturday during a singles match in the GCHS girls tennis invitational at the GCHS tennis complex.  Riggs finished third in the tournament.