MHS tennis wins 3rd straight

By Grant Guggisberg

The Manhattan High boys’ tennis team continued its recent hot streak at tournaments, winning for the third time in the last five days.

Each member of the team finished in the top three at Monday’s tournament, which divided the 12 teams into two pools before a crossover round at the end to decide who placed where.

Manhattan finished with 43 team points to win the meet, with Derby in second with 41 points and Maize in third with 38.

“In order to win, everybody has to medal, and that’s what they did,” Manhattan head coach Joyce Allen said. “It was huge, it really was. I was just so proud of everybody.”

Playing at No. 2 singles, Camden Adams was the lone gold medalist of the day, finishing 6-0 while defeating Topeka High’s Michael Joens in the final round, 8-6.

“He did a great job,” Allen said. “That kid is so unbelievably patient and he is so consistent. He just stays in the point.”

Playing at No. 1 singles, Kirkland Lambert finished the day in third place, but was dealt a tough matchup right out of the gate, facing Maize’s Miles Medaris in his first match and losing 8-4.

While most of the time, athletes are divided evenly between the two pools, Allen said most of the coaches agreed the match between these two players belonged in the final round. Topeka High’s Matt Gonzales won the other pool, losing 8-0 in the finals against Medaris.

“If he’d have seen him later in the day in pool play, he might have been OK,” Allen said. “But everybody said that first match between the two of them — that was a finals match.”

In doubles, the top pairing of Jonathan Turnley and Bryce Easton finished 5-0 in pool play, beating regional foes Derby and Topeka High, before dropping a tough match to Salina South’s Pierce Carey and Matt Berneking, 8-6.

“They played Salina South, and I told the boys they’ve got nothing to lose, we’re not going to see Salina South again,” Allen said. “Just have some fun, there’s no pressure, just go enjoy yourselves. And we led the whole way. It was crazy, but we lost 8-6.

“(Carey) practically won the last two games himself. He’s scary good. He can’t play singles because he has a brace on his leg. That was just such a great match.”

The No. 2 doubles pair of Matt Turnley and Ben Turnley finished the day 4-1 in pool play before defeating Lawrence Free State in their final match, 8-2.

“I asked them not to be so slow out of the gate, and they did a great job,” Allen said.

While the weather wasn’t great for tennis, with cold temperatures and gusty winds, Allen was pleased with the way her athletes didn’t let it affect their play on the court.

“It was so awful out there,” she said. “We saw a little bit of sunshine and that was it. But it didn’t rain, and that’s all that mattered.”

The Indians’ quadrangular today at Emporia was postponed and has been rescheduled Friday at 3 p.m. Allen said she is still shuffling her lineup, though much of the group seems set.

“I’m pretty certain that Kirkland and Camden, JT and Bryce are set,” she said. “But there are still some decisions to be made.”

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