Heading into regionals this weekend, Manhattan High girls’ tennis coach Joyce Allen likes the way her team has been playing lately.
The Indians took sixth at the Centennial League meet Monday in Topeka, but had several girls finish better than their seed as the day wore on.
With no designation between ones and twos, Kristen Fraley was the top finisher on the day for Manhattan, taking sixth place in singles. She finished 4-2 on the day after going 3-1 in pool play.
Also in singles was freshman Catherine Lei, who was seeded 12th but finished in 10th place and went 3-3 on the day, facing off against a tougher level of competition than she usually sees at the No. 2 slot.
“She’s an unknown because she’s only played No. 2 all season,” Allen said. “But she did really well. Everybody did well.”
On the doubles side, Kaitlin Wichmann and Anne Roberson went 2-2 in pool play, but won both of their matches in bracket play to finish ninth with a 4-2 record, also bettering their seed.
The pair of Jenna Stigge and Caroline Sager went 0-4 in pool play, losing a tough tiebreak, but rebounded in bracket play, winning both matches to move to 2-4 on the day and a 17th place finish.
“I thought we did really pretty well,” Allen said. “There were probably a couple matches here and there, especially tiebreaks, which we could have won. But we won our fair share of tiebreaks as well.”
Winning the tournament was Washburn Rural, which took top individual honors in singles and doubles. Manhattan will see them again at the Wichita East regional on Saturday.
“They’re practically untouchable,” Allen said of Rural. “Then we have to look at Junction City and Topeka High, as well as those other teams down in Wichita, but at least from today, we felt that we could compete with most of the teams.
“Hopefully we get everybody through (to state). It will be tough, but we’re going to give it our best shot.”