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Three storylines to watch for at state tennis

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By Brad Hallier

It seems like just a couple days ago when KSHSAA released this year’s classifications, and now, we’re already looking at the first state tournament of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Girls state tennis will start Friday at four different sites across Kansas. Here are three storylines to watch for.

McPherson looking for a doubles run

The doubles team of senior Riggs Kuhn and sophomore Brodie Kuhn has had a great season for McPherson, compiling a 25-6 record and a regional championship.

There is some serious depth in Class 4A doubles, and most of the matches at the state tournament in Winfield will be rugged. Start with who the Kuhn’s beat in the regional finals – Circle’s Londyn Soto and MaKya Thompson, who are 22-6.

Independence brings in the top two teams from the regional it hosted, and Wellington also had both doubles finalists in the Scott City regional. Don’t forget about Topeka Hayden.

It will be a competitive, open tournament in Class 4A doubles.

Buhler taking three entries to state

Buhler often has a solid team with depth. That was on display again this season, as the Crusaders qualified three entries for state.

Both singles players – junior Ashlyn Coker and senior Kayleigh Hamby – qualified for state by finishing fifth and sixth, respectively in regional play. Coker is 16-12 and Hamby is 10-8.

In doubles, the senior duo of Mady Tanksley and Faith Miller finished fourth at regionals and enters state with a 17-11 mark.

Salthawk juniors navigate tough regional

Ayla Booe and Ellie Foos did well late in the season, when they began teaming up regularly. They outperformed their seed at league and in regionals, where they finished fourth behind both Salina Central teams and one from Newton.

It was a tough, tough regional. State won’t be a picnic, but Booe and Foos have seen solid competition most of the season, whether they played singles or doubles. They head to the Class 5A state tournament in Salina with a 16-9 record.

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