Panthers finish seventh at Ellsworth

ELLWORTH — The Concordia High School girls’ tennis team placed seventh in the Ellsworth Invitational on Tuesday.
Concordia scored 25 points in the meet.
Trinity Catholic captured the team title with 49 points. Smoky Valley finished second with 45 and Central Plains was third with 42.
“I felt we had a decent day today,” Concordia coach Steven Mitchell said.
Danielle Timme, number one singles, and Rachel Hasch, number two singles, each placed third for the Panthers.
Sara Hittle and Autumn Zimmerman, number one doubles, and Julie Gross and Marissa Morgan, number two doubles, finished eighth.
Timme dropped her opening match to Sofia Garcia, Trinity Catholic, 8-1. She then posted a win of 8-1 over Ryanne Hekele, Central Plains; 8-7 (7-3) over Abbie Miller, Lyons; and 8-5 over Hannah Morrical, Smoky Valley.
“After a slow start, Danielle really found her game today. About halfway through her first match she started hitting the ball really well and gaining confidence. Even though she was not able to win the match against Trinity it helped Danielle play much better. In her final three matches she played really well and really made her opponents work. In the third-place match against Morrical, Danielle played some of her best tennis and picked up a win over a possible regional opponent,” Mitchell said.
Hasch opened with an 8-0 win over Kayla Reed, Lyons. She fell 8-7 (7-4) to Kristina Enslinger, Trinity Catholic, and then downed Sierra Weatherman, Ellinwood, 8-7 (7-4) and knocked off Cheyenne Phillips, Trego, 8-1 in the third-place match.
“Rachel played steady tennis all day long. She came within a tiebreak of getting a chance to play in the first-place match. After that close loss she bounced back and  played two strong matches against good players. It was a strong day for Rachel with a third-place finish in a very talented field,” Mitchell said.
Hittle and Zimmerman were beaten 8-0 by Rachel Doll and Danae Patton, Ellinwood; 8-3 by Callie Cunningham and Alyssa Lamb, Ellsworth; and 8-6 by Jadyn Snyder and Esme Vazquez, Lyons.
“Sara and Autumn continued to improve today, but were just short of being able to pick up a win. Number one doubles is extremely competitive, and these two are adjusting and learning quickly. They were just overpowered by the strength and quickness of the top two teams in their first two matches. They battled hard and came up just short in their third match. They finished the day playing better than they ever have. Sara’s serve was really good today, and these two girls are learning to implement different doubles strategies into their game,” Mitchell said.
Gross and Morgan fell 8-1 to Katie Shafer and Liz Standlee, Ellinwood; 8-7 (7-2) to Amy Kempke and Emmy Kempke, Ellsworth; and 8-2 to Candice Strawn and Morgan Cowles, Trinity Catholic.
“Julie and Marissa showed some real improvement as well today. After losing to the number one seeded team in Ellinwood, they came back and played a great match against Ellsworth. They lost to this same team 8-2 last week, and today played their way to a tiebreak. Julie served well today, and Marissa is starting to become a more aggressive net player. It is exciting to see them learning so much in a short period of time,” Mitchell said.

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