BHS sends four to state tennis
Baldwin High School's string of entries into the Class 4A State Tennis Tournament continued Monday with a pair of doubles teams advancing from the Baldwin regional, where the Bulldogs finished third as a team.
The No. 1 doubles team of senior Suzie Weege and sophomore Holly Oakleaf finished third by beating BHS's No. 2 doubles team of junior Colleen Kivett and sophomore Carissa Venable in the consolation finals.
"That was a very realistic goal, to send two doubles team to state, and we achieved that," said coach Ginny Honomichl. "Nothing is easy at this time of year and it shouldn't be."
Although Weege and Oakleaf were disappointed with their loss to the Parsons team of Alicia Ryan and Leah Spare by a 6-1, 7-5 count in the semifinals, they rallied back.
"They were seeded second and finished third," Honomichl said of Weege-Oakleaf. "They just got beat by a better team that match. They take responsibility for it and so do I. We'll be all right.
"You find out what you're made of when you lose a match like that and have to come back and play against your own teammates," she said. "They lost the first match and they could have folded, but they didn't. They bounced back to win."
Kivett-Venable had the 6-4 advantage to open. But Weege-Oakleaf rallied to take the next two by the same score, 6-4, 6-4, to salvage third. It moved Weege-Oakleaf's record to 28-3 on the year, while Kivett-Venable moved to 26-7.
"Carissa and Colleen played their best tennis of the year at regionals," said Honomichl. "That's what a coach likes to see. You want to be playing your best tennis right now."
She also thinks Weege-Oakleaf will benefit from the loss. It takes some of the pressure off going into state.
"They'll be refocused and ready to go," she said.
Baldwin's singles players, Sarah Beaulieu and Kalie Harris, exited early in the tourney. But, Honomichl said that was more from their draws because of the seeding than anything.
"Our singles played well today, too," she said, "they just had a tough draw."
Parsons won the team title at regionals with 16 points, followed by Labette County (7), Baldwin (5), Fredonia (3), Coffeyville and DeSoto (2), Columbus (1), and Chanute, Iola and Spring Hill, all with 0.
Now the focus moves to state Friday and Saturday at Topeka Hayden. It starts at 1 p.m. Friday.