EL DORADO — The good news: One of the Winfield High School girls tennis team’s doubles squad was advancing to State.
The bad news: They had to battle it out to see which one made it.
Juniors Rozlynn Richert and Claire Norton defeated senior Abby Isom and junior Claire Priest 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the elimination match Saturday at the Class 4A Regional Championships on the Sam Bitner Courts.
Richert and Norton will join senior McKenna Roark at the KSHSAA Class 4A State Championships, set for Oct. 15-16 on their home courts at the T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center.
The top six placers qualified for State.
“I’m extremely proud of the way the whole team competed at Regionals on Saturday,” WHS coach Lexis Hibbs said. “Unfortunately, our two doubles teams had to play each other to determine who qualified for the state tournament. This was very difficult on those players, but I was proud of those four girls and their families. They handled a challenging situation with poise.”
Roark punched her ticket to the Big Show with a gutsy 7-5; 6-3 triumph against Elise Richardson of Augusta in the championship quarterfinals.
The fourth-seeded Roark opened with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against 13th seed Emma Richardson of Augusta, setting up the showdown against fifth-seeded Elise Richardson. Roark fell to top-seeded and eventual Regional champion Elysia Frieze of Chapman 6-0, 6-0, and dropped a heartbreaking 4-6, 7-6, 7-3 marathon by default to third-seeded Kim Reichenberger of Wellington in the third-place match.
“On an unusually hot and windy day, Makenna played hard throughout her matches,” Hibbs said. “Her last match of the day lasted almost three hours for just the first two sets. Going into the third set, Makenna didn’t feel healthy enough to complete the match.”
Richert and Norton held the No. 5 seed in doubles and opened with a 6-2, 6-0 victory against the Augusta duo of Peyton Childers and Kinleigh Haskell. However, a gut-wrenching 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 loss to fourth-seeded Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten of Wellington sent the Lady Viking tandem to the elimination round. They settled for sixth after falling 6-1, 6-2 to the Towanda-Circle duo of Erin Johnson and Lily Son.
Eighth-seeded Isom and Priest opened with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph against ninth-seeded Maya Wade and Carlie Karst of El Dorado. But that meant a battle with top-seeded Darcy Dunn and Sophia Majors of Wichita Trinity, who cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory en route to the doubles title.
Winfield senior Katherine Lenz was seeded 12th and fell 6-1, 6-0 to Richardson in the first round.
Class 4A Regional Championships
Saturday at Sam Bitner Courts, El Dorado
(Top 6 placers advance to State)
Team Scores — 1. Wellington 17; 2. Towanda-Circle 13; 3. Wichita Trinity 9; 4t. Chapman 7; 4t. Winfield 7; 6. Augusta 4; 7. El Dorado 1.
Championship — Elysia Frieze (Chap) def. Alejandra Gaitan (TC), 6-2, 6-0. Third — Kim Reichenberger (Well) def. McKenna Roark (Win), 4-6, 7-6, 7-3, default. Fifth — Elise Richardson (Aug) def. Riley Marnell (ED), 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), default.
Championship — Darcy Dunn/Sophia Majors (WT) def. Jensen Lynes/Lyric Cornejo (Well), 6-4, 6-2. Third — Ashlyn Gerten/Kadynce Aufdengarten (Well) def. Laynie Glaves/Londyn Soto (TC), 3-6, 6-0, 6-1. Fifth — Erin Johnson/Lily Son (TC) def. Rozlynn Richert/Claire Norton (Win), 6-1, 6-2.
McKenna Roark, fourth place (2-2): def. Emma Richardson (Aug), 6-1, 6-1; def. Elise Richardson (Aug), 7-5; 6-3; lost to Elysia Frieze (Chap), 6-0, 6-0; lost to Kim Reichenberger (Well), 4-6, 7-6, 7-3, default.
Katherine Lenz, DNP (0-1): lost to Elise Richardson (Aug), 6-1, 6-0.
Rozlynn Richert/Claire Norton, sixth place (1-2): def. Peyton Childers/Kinleigh Haskell (Aug), 6-2, 6-0; lost to Ashlyn Gerten/Kadynce Aufdengarten (Well), 6-2, 4-6, 10-4; def. Abby Isom/Claire Priest (Win), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; def. Maya Wade/Carlie Karst (ED), 6-1, 6-2; lost to Erin Johnson/Lily Son (TC), 6-1, 6-2.
Abby Isom/Claire Priest, DNP (0-2): lost to Darcy Dunn/Sophia Majors (WT), 6-0, 6-1; lost to Rozlynn Richert/Claire Norton (Win), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.