SALINA — McPherson High girls tennis coach Tyler Brown said his team hasn’t experienced many tournaments like this.
The Bullpups posted only one first-round win Saturday and they spent most of the day in the consolation bracket in the high-powered Salina Central Invitational that was loaded with bigger-class schools.
Worse, singles entrant Daphne Carrillo injured her shoulder in the day’s first match and she had to retire.
“We just were not ready to play and played nowhere near our potential,” Brown said. “But I'm glad if we were going to have a tournament like this, it was better to have it now than down the stretch when losing first round means your season is over. We lost three of our four first-round matches, which means in a big tournament like this the best you could do from that point is 17th. I honestly can not remember this happening in the past several years.”
Maisie Edmonson in singles, and Taylor Bruce and CeAnna Allen in doubles lost in the first round, but came back strong with four straight wins, both entrants taking 17th. Rachel Carlson and Ashley Achilles were 1-4 in doubles for 16th.
It was a premier field with Class 5A’s top team St. James Academy taking first with 117 points and Salina Central, expected to be its top challenger in 5A, second with 102. MHS, losing a chunk of points with the injury, scored 42 and was 12th out of 16.
“Hopefully we can learn from this and learn how to control our emotions and learn to play a little more free at the beginning and in big matches of tournaments,” Brown said. “I saw this at Hesston from us to start the year, but we’re such a young team we are just letting our nerves get the best of us. That is one thing you really can not coach. Experience and playing more is what will hopefully cure this.”