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Manhattan High boys’ tennis cruises at Salina meet

By Grant Guggisberg

Playing in a six-team round robin in Junction City, the Manhattan High boys’ tennis team managed to parlay its strong finish in Salina on Thursday into a perfect day on Saturday afternoon.

The Indians finished the day 20-0 in matches, not losing a game all day while winning the meet going away, well ahead of second-place Abilene.

All of Manhattan’s athletes finished the day at 5-0, battling through windy conditions in the process.

“It was really windy, but the kids obviously adjusted really well,” Manhattan head coach Joyce Allen said. “It was a really good day.”

Kirkland Lambert and Camden Adams each won five matches playing at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, while the No. 1 doubles pair of Jonathan Turnley and Bryce Easton and the No. 2 pairing of Matt Turnley and Ben Turnley also stayed undefeated.

Among the four groupings, Matt and Ben Turnley had the most challenging day, coming back in two separate matches from deficits of three games or more to win, preserving the perfect day.

“They had a tougher go,” Allen said. “They had two matches that really gave me fits. Against Free State, they were down 1-4, then came back to win it 8-5. And against Junction City, they were down 0-4 again, then came back to win it 8-4.

“They snapped out of it, so that’s all that matters, and I thought they played pretty well. But they were the only two that were really tested.”

Lambert lost seven games all day, while Adams finished the day losing only five games in five matches. Jonathan Turnley and Easton also lost seven games in a dominant effort.

“Both JT and Bryce were really playing well,” Allen said, “and the wind was really crazy, but they stayed calm and controlled and played well.”

Allen said she was really impressed with her two singles players. Lambert faced an athlete from Abilene who was also 4-0 in his final match, winning 8-2 to cap a perfect day. Adams was never tested, with his toughest matches ending in 8-2 wins on two different occasions.

While Allen admitted she still isn’t sure how the permanent varsity lineup will shake out, Saturday’s meet offered some clarity.

“Things are a little clearer,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have so many good kids, but you wish they could all play.”

Allen will get another look at her team on Monday, with a meet at Topeka High before a Tuesday quadrangular at Emporia.

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