MHS tennis takes home meet

By Grant Guggisberg

On a cold, breezy day at City Park, the Manhattan High boys’ tennis team won its only home quad of the year on Monday afternoon.

Rescheduled from April 9 after a rainout, the Indians pulled out the team victory with 10 points, ahead of second-place Marysville with eight points and third-place Junction City with six points. Highland Park did not win a match.

Manhattan pulled out the win while only losing two matches on the day. Indian head coach Chuck Kipp opted to play only seniors and juniors, since Monday’s quad is the only currently-scheduled home meet of the year.

“Because it’s our only home meet, and since we’re home, if people want to come out and watch, it’s kind of nice to have some of the guys who may be in their last chance to play in Manhattan,” Kipp said. “Overall, as anticipated, we did really well at the home meet.”

At No. 1 singles, Seaton breezed to a 3-0 record on the day with three 8-0 victories. The senior got his toughest match against Tanner Wright of Marysville, who finished second in the division, but even then didn’t lose a game.

“Jake, as anticipated, finished 3-0,” Kipp said. “He’s a strong No. 1 singles player. We’ll see how he does on Thursday at a little bit more difficult venue with the Salina South Invitational, which will give us a pretty good idea of where he’ll fit in the Centennial League.”

In No. 2 singles, Hayes finished 3-0 on the day, getting his toughest match against Junction City’s Markus King, but winning 8-5.

“Dustin played pretty well, he also went 3-0,” Kipp said. “He’ll primarily be our second singles player for Centennial and regionals.”

The No. 1 doubles pairing of JT Turnley and Claib Harris finished the day 2-1, losing in a tiebreaker to Marysville 8-7 (7-5).

“They were leading and then Marysville fought their way back into the match at the end,” Kipp said. “I think the momentum change took them out of the tiebreaker a little bit, but it was close.”

At No. 2 doubles, Kipp is still unsettled with who will be the primary pair on varsity. With no clear-cut favorites, Kipp elected to rotate three players, Tyler Belin, Adarsh Singh and Sam Hong. Each played two matches at No. 2 doubles, while sitting out one. Manhattan went 2-1 in No. 2 doubles, with Hong and Belin losing to Junction City in the final match of the day 8-4.

“I’ve got some kids that do really well at one tournament, then the next tournament they’re not as consistent,” Kipp said. “And in practice I can see some inconsistency, but overall, I think they’re getting better. It takes a whole year.”

While the cool temperatures and breeze weren’t ideal tennis conditions, Kipp said had Monday’s rescheduled match been rained out, they probably would have not have been able to find another makeup date.

“We’re lucky to avoid rain today,” he said. “The season is so short, had we had another rainout, we may not have been able to reschedule the quad.”

Manhattan travels to Salina to play on Thursday at the Salina South Invitational.

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