Buffaloes tie for third at McPherson

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Sage Riggs volleys a shot at the net during a singles match in the GCHS Invite in September. Riggs finished third on Saturday at McPherson.

Garden City High School’s girls tennis team traveled to McPherson on Saturday, playing in the annual Doug Gayer Classic.

The Buffaloes finished tied for third with McPherson White squad. McPherson Red won the tournament.

The tournament was set up like regional and state competitions, where there are only singles and doubles divisions, with no separation for No. 1s and No. 2s.

“The girls played in difficult conditions. It wasn’t our best outing of the year overall, but there were still some positive signs going into post season,” GCHS head coach Logan Bevis said.

In the singles competition, the Buffaloes’ Sage Riggs had the highest finish for GCHS, placing third with a 3-1 record. Riggs opened play with an 8-3 win over Dodge City’s Sammy Nguyen, then defeated Hays in the quarterfinals 8-1. Riggs came up short in the semifinals, 8-2, to McPherson Red. The Buffalo bounced back to win the third place match over another McPherson Red player, 8-2.

Garden City’s Brooke Ptacek went 2-2 in the division for seventh place. Ptacek opened the day with an 8-3 win over Dodge City’s Faith Heath, but lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual winner of the tournament, Grad Foster from Hutchinson, 8-3. The Buffalo dropped her first match on the consolation side to McPherson White, 8-3 before downing Hays for seventh place, 8-3.

“Sage had a tough matchup in the semifinals, but beat a solid player to take third, continuing her solid play from earlier in the week,” Bevis said. “Brooke took seventh and played Foster (Hutchinson) really well in the quarterfinals. Although she lost 3-8, it was competitive and she showed a lot of heart and promise.”

In the doubles division, Garden City’s team Ashleigh Chappel and Sydney Nanninga went 2-2 on the day for seventh place. The pair opened the day with an 8-6 victory over McPherson White, but dropped their quarterfinal matchup to Hutchinson, 8-6. The Buffaloes lost their opening match of the consolation bracket to McPherson White, 8-6, before having an injury default by Campus for seventh place.

Alivia Palmer and Chloe Powell, playing in GCHS’s other double slot, won a play-in match over Liberal, 8-1, before falling to Salina South, 8-3. In the consolation bracket, the pair dropped their first match to Dodge City’s Jewell Escobar and Mariana Ortiz, 8-2. The Buffaloes bounced back after that to defeat Hutchinson, 8-2, then Hays 8-1 to claim 13th place. The pair finished the day with a 3-2 record.

“Chloe played with Alivia Palmer, as Rilee (McGraw) had a prior commitment. They played solid to get 13h, losing to two of the better doubles teams in the tournament,” Bevis said.

The Buffaloes were at Liberal on Monday for the Western Athletic Conference meet, and will travel to Wichita North on Friday for a Class 6A regional meet.