BHS doubles team ends state tournament with victory
For the second year in a row, Baldwin High School seniors Hayley Schwartz and Kara Hoegerl finished the state tennis tournament with a victory.
Unfortunately for both seniors, their first match on Friday came against one of the best teams in the state. In the end, they finished 1-1 at the Class 4A state tournament.
“They played well,” coach Justin Hoffman said. “They had as tough of a draw as they could have had. Finishing sixth in a region means you will play someone who got third in a region. They just ran into a stacked regional. That Wellington team got sixth at state last year and ended up finishing sixth this year, too.
“In doubles, the two deepest regions played each other,” he said. “There's nothing you can do but play who is in front of you. We did a good job of responding and playing hard, but it was just a tough draw.”
The BHS doubles team played a Wellington team in its first match on Friday. BHS lost 6-0, 6-0 to the team that ended up sixth in the 24-team tournament.
Hoffman said most games it the match went to deuce, but the Bulldogs were unable to win any of those games.
“Hayley and Kara played very well,” he said. “They just couldn't get any of the ad-points to swing their way. Wellington beat us and then turned around and beat an Abilene team that was second in their regional. They beat them bad and I thought we played Wellington better than Abilene did. We just couldn't swing the points our way. I know Wellington had to work for it, because it wasn't ever easy for them.”
Although they were eliminated from the tournament, Hoegerl and Schwartz still played another match Friday. They were paired up against a Chanute team and they won 9-5.
“They came back and played it well,” Hoffman said. “That's a tough match to get up for. They know they are done after the first match, but they came out and played for pride. The one thing they can always take with them is they finished high school at the state tournament with a win. Not a lot of players can say that.”
Seven of the 12 state qualifiers from Baldwin's region placed in the top 10 at the state tournament. Four singles players and three doubles teams medaled from Baldwin's region.
“Our region represented very well,” Hoffman said. “Everybody from our region, both singles and doubles, won at least one match at state. I don't know that any other region can stay that. The Hesston region teams can maybe say that.”
Hoegerl and Schwartz were two of five seniors who played the majority of varsity this fall for BHS. Junior Kaitlin Jorgensen was the other Bulldog who played significant time on the varsity level.
“Next year will be an eye-opening experience, in terms of getting young kids into varsity spots,” Hoffman said. “I haven't had that in a while. There are a lot of girls who will be in the running for varsity spots next year.”