Ptacek, Riggs heading to state tennis

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Sage Riggs volleys a shot at the net in a singles match during the GCHS invite Sept. 26. Riggs finished second Saturday in regional tennis action, qualifying for state.

Garden City High School will be sending two singles players to the Class 6A State tournament on Friday in Olathe.

Sage Riggs and Brooke Ptacek finished second and third, respectively, to advance.

The pair led the Buffaloes girls tennis squad to a second-place finish as a team Saturday during a Class 6A regional tournament at Wichita North. Hutchinson won the tournament. The tournament was set up like the state tournament, with singles and doubles divisions.

Riggs, who finished the day with a 2-1 record, received a first round bye before defeating Liberal 6-0, 6-3, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, she defeated Hutchinson’s No. 2 player 7-6 (12-10), 6-3 to advance to the finals. Riggs came up short in the marathon match to Hutchinson’s No. 1 singles player, 6-4, 6-3. Her season record is 30-3.

“Sage battled hard in the championship match, but came up short,” GCHS Head Coach Logan Bevis said. “She had a tough semifinal earlier in the day, but I was really proud of the way she battled in a really high-quality final against Gracie Foster from Hutch. It lasted close to two hours.”

Ptacek, who finished the day with a 3-1 record, had to play an opening match, defeating Campus 6-2, 6-4. She then defeated Wichita South 6-2, 7-5, to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, Ptacek faced the eventual champion from Hutchinson, falling 6-0, 6-0. In the third-place match, Ptacek defeated Hutchinson’s No. 2 singles player 6-0, 6-0, for the bronze.

“After getting a low seed, Brooke battled hard to beat the No. 6 and No. 3 seeds to qualify for state,” Bevis said. “Then loosing to Foster in the semis and taking third after defeat. I’m proud of her development and I’m thrilled she pulled through today.”

In doubles action, both of Garden City’s doubles teams went 1-1 in the single-elimination tournament.

Ashleigh Chappel and Sydney Nanninga opened with a win over Liberal, 6-1, 6-0, but fell to Hutchinson, the eventually winner, 6-4, 6-3.

“Our No. 1 doubles (Chappel and Nanninga) got the eighth seed despite their stellar record on the year due to coach voting at the seeding meeting,” Bevis said. “This meant they had to play the eventual champions (Hutchinson) in the quarterfinals. They played a great match and came up just short — they were the only team to compete with Hutch all day on their way tot the title. I’m so happy with their development and upset that that seeding meeting decisions put them in such a tough position, but they fought hard and deserve credit.”

Rilee McGraw and Alivia Palmer knocked off a Wichita North team in their first match, 6-0, 6-0. In the quarterfinals, the pair lost to Hutchinson 6-4, 6-2.

“Alivia and Rilee battled hard but fell to Hutch’s No. 2 in the quarters,” Bevis said. “In a normal year, both teams would have still had a chance to qualify, and probably would have (for state), but KSHSAA’s changes to the post season (in COVID-19 pandemic) eliminated that.”

“I’m really proud of the girls as a team,” Bevis said. “There were a lot of tough moments, especially with our seniors careers coming to an end, but every one of them fought hard and represented Garden well.”

Garden City High School's Brooke Ptacek hits a backhand shot cross court during a singles match Sept. 26 in the GCHS Invite. Ptacek finished third at a regional tennis meet on Saturday to qualify for state.