The season is underway for the Lady Blue Jays tennis team after hosting their season opener again Manhattan, Salina South and Lawrence Free State.
“Our girls had to play some tough competition,” said coach Matt Micheel. “That’s what we want and that’s what we scheduled.”
The competition proved too hard for the team as no one was able to walk away with a match win.
“We just had an extremely tough group of girls at the different spots today,” Micheel said. “Manhattan brings a doubles team in that got seventh in the 6A tournament. They brought in a singles player that got 10th in the 6A tournament. There is a girl, really good girl, from Salina South also. The number one team from Salina South actually beat Manhattan’s team.”
Micheel said that the tough schedule he arranged will help the team as the season moves on and will help them prepare for regional and state action.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “The interesting thing, it all comes down to what the girls do and what their mindset is. We tell them, ‘it’s OK to go out there and lose — as long as you are playing hard and working on the things that we’ve been doing.’ As long as they keep their head, that attitude and they keep trying to win, then it ultimately helps us in the long run. It has the last few years.”
In the number-one singles matches, sophomore Morgan Caroll fell to Salina South 8-0, to Lawrence Free State 8-3 and to Manhattan 8-0.
Micheel said he is excited to see how Caroll has progressed since moving to singles last year, finishing 2-20 on the season.
“When I look at it, last year Morgan was out there trying to figure out how to hit a ball and play in a singles match,” he said. “She never played any singles. She just picked up a racket a half a year ago (her eighth grade year). This year she’s out there swinging away with the best. I’ve got to be pumped about that. Now, it’s about putting together the strategies and the points. That’s things we (have to work on).”
The number-one doubles, the team of Krysta Talley and Erilinne Thornton dropped all three of their matches; 8-0 to Salina South, 8-3 to Lawrence Free State and 8-0 to Manhattan.
Number-two singles player Alidsha Vazquez fell 8-1 to Salina South, 8-0 to Lawrence Free State and 8-3 to Manhattan.
Abby Rosauer and Avery Jacobsen rounded out the Lady Blue Jays efforts as the number-two doubles team. They fell to Salina South 8-0, Lawrence Free State 8-0 and Manhattan 8-1.
Despite the lack of wins, Micheel said he is proud of the girls and their no quite attitudes they displayed. After the match he told them so.
“I told them, ‘it should be hard for them to be disappointed unless they didn’t work on some of that stuff we did during the practice. It’s all part of the process,’” he said. “They can see that, they can read a coach and they could tell that I wasn’t upset with them … There is no way I could have been (upset) with the effort that I got out of them and the competition they played.”
The team will take Friday off and hit the courts Monday as they prepare for their next match at Washburn Rural.
“We’ll take tomorrow (Friday) off, they had a long week,” Micheel said. “They pushed themselves really hard. Then we will start with a meet next Thursday that we will get ready for. That’s at Washburn Rural against; Kansas City Christian, Marysville and Washburn Rural. That will be another good, tough test.”