HESSTON — The Concordia High School tennis team opened its season with a seventh-place finish in the Hesston Invitational on Tuesday.
Hesston won the tournament with 48 points. Goddard finished second with 40 and Wichita Independent was third with 21.
Concordia scored nine points in the meet.
“As usual, the Hesston meet had some very tough competition,” Concordia coach Steven Mitchell said, “I thought the effort today was outstanding on what was a cold and late night of playing. Because of snow making some courts unusable, the meet took longer than normal, and we didn’t finish until 9:15. I thought the guys handled that very well. We saw some things we need to work on, and the guys are looking forward to our home meet on Thursday.”
Isaac Sprague finished eighth in number one singles for Concordia. He lost 8-1 to Jacob Maddox, Wichita Independent; 8-0 to Evan Bentley, Trinity Catholic; and 8-4 to Austin Brown, Trinity Academy.
“This was Isaac’s first experience at number one singles and he struggled against some very tough competition today. He was never able to get into his first two matches, but played a very solid and competitive third match. By the end of the day, Isaac looked much more comfortable hitting and was hitting the ball well. This was good experience for him, and will help show the areas that he needs to improve on,” Mitchell said.
Joel Timme and Romy Rohovit placed seventh in number one doubles for the Panthers. They lost 8-6 to Parsons’ number one team and 8-4 to Trinity Academy, and defeated Smoky Valley, 8-4.
“Romy and Joel struggled today, and really took awhile to find their game. They played better as the day went on, and Joel really hit some nice shots in the last couple of matches. They finished the day with a solid win over Smoky Valley as they looked much more relaxed and confident. These two really struggled with movement on the court at times today, and Romy struggled with his serve most of the day,” Mitchell said.
Tristin Morgan won his first match, and went on to place fourth in number two singles for Concordia. He knocked off Matt Mosier, Parsons, 8-3 and then lost 8-5 to Tyler Manlove, Goddard, and 8-0 to David Dieckhoff, Trinity Academy.
“Tristin had a strong day for us at number two singles. After a very solid win in his first match he played some of his best tennis in a tough loss to Goddard,” Mitchell said, “Tristin was moving very well and made that match very competitive against the eventual second-place finisher. In his third match, Tristin competed much better than the score indicated, but just didn’t win the big points.”
Andrew Sheely and Logan Whitney placed sixth in number two doubles for the Panthers. They lost 8-2 to Hesston, and then defeated Parsons 8-6 before falling 8-3 to Smoky Valley.
“This was Andrew and Logan’s first varsity experience and they played very well today. After losing a tough match to the eventual number one place team in Hesston, they came back and won a close match against Parsons. In the fifth-place match against Smoky Valley, they played well and were even in the first half of the match, but lost several deuce points in the last several games. I really like how these two are playing as a team, and they learned a lot today,” Mitchell said.