It's the first medal for the Wildcat tennis since 2003.
It may have been a rough day one but for the El Dorado Wildcats, day two had much better results at the Class 4A Girl’s Tennis State Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Seniors Makayla Chabot and Mallory Parsons fought and came out with the first placement for an El Dorado player since Stephanie Darwin won three straight state championships in singles. The last one coming in 2003.
The doubles team had to fight through the consolation bracket but it was worth it as they won their final match of the day against Abilene to clinch 11th place.
El Dorado finished 12th overall with six points.
“I’m just so proud of all of these girls,” El Dorado head coach Kent Kunkel said. “They work hard every day and it shows.”
It's believed to be the first doubles medal in school history.
Chabot and Parsons didn’t fare well in their first match, losing a tough three setter to Concordia (6-4, 4-6, 8-10). They responded by taking out a Bishop Miege doubles team 9-7 in the first round of the consolation bracket. Then, they took out Iola’s doubles to qualify for day two.
The pair was given the unfortunate task of playing the No. 1 seed in the tournament to start the second day. While they fell 9-3, the match appeared to be much closer than the score indicated. El Dorado had closed within 4-3 before getting broke on consecutive games.
Chabot and Parsons then were upset by Hesston’s doubles team in the battle for ninth place finals. El Dorado lead 5-3 before eventually falling 9-8 in a 7-5 tiebreaker.
“The nerves got us that game,” Parsons said. “That’s why we wanted to come out and do better in our last match.”
Parsons, who hadn’t even picked up a racket 15 months ago helped her teammate, Chabot, to the first medal for El Dorado tennis since 2003. They did this by beating Abilene. El Dorado took care of them easily 9-0.
“I’m just really happy and proud for El Dorado,” Chabot said. “We are known for getting down on ourselves, but we didn’t do that today.”
“It’s about baby steps of turning that mentality around,” Parsons said.
The first day was rough for El Dorado as the senior singles player Nalea Payton was upset in her first match of the day to Brittany Teufel of Buhler 6-3, 6-4. This knocked her into the consolation bracket. Payton was stunned in her next match, falling to Chanute’s Kori Babcock 9-2, finishing her time at state. Payton finishes her season 19-14 on the year.
For Rylee Ball, the freshman, she also found herself in unfortunate territory. She would fall to future third place finisher, Sonya Murphy in straight sets. Then, she would fall to 12th place finisher, Mariel Allen of Bishop Miege 9-3.
“We had a rough day one, but I am proud of the way they never gave up today,” Kunkel said.