SEEING DOUBLE: Andover Central doubles duo shines

Charles Chaney
(left to right) Mckinnley Evans, Elizabeth Kear, Hilary Tallman, Hannah Lee pose with their medals after placing in the Collegiate Classic on Saturday, August 22 at Wichita Collegiate School in Wichita, Kansas.

WICHITA Andover Central was seeing double on Saturday in their first event of the season as both double teams finished in the top four in an always tough Collegiate Classic.

Seniors Hilary Tallman and Elizabeth Kear took third place, beating their teammates Hannah Lee and Mac Evans in a tough match 8-5.

A handful of state qualifiers, including a state runner-up on the bracket, the Jaguars fought through with a tough tiebreakers in their opening matches to advance to the quarterfinals.

Evans/Lee started out the afternoon by knocking off the Searls sisters via tiebreaker. Then, Tallman/Kear won their tiebreaker over Maize South’s O’Brien.Kratzer.

After leading 4-3 against eventual tournament champion, Matteucci/Weiss of Sacred Heart, Evans/Lee saw Sacred Heart roll off five of the next six games to send the pair to the third place game.

Tallman/Kear ran up against part of the Class 4A doubles runner up. In Lily Conrad. Her forehand was too much for the pair as they dropped an 8-4 decision to set up the third place match.

The seniors in Tallman/Kear beat their teammates 8-5 in a back-and-forth battle to secure top placements in the doubles.

“I’m not surprised,” Glaser said. “We kind of knew what we had in the doubles.”

The singles tournament may have been tougher than a state tournament. The Collegiate Classic featured multiple state champions and multiple third place finishers and other state qualifiers.

Anna Strickland went 1-3 on the afternoon, winning her final match against Maize South 8-3. Two of the three losses for Strickland were by two or less games.

In the other singles battle, Grace Schaefer went 2-2. She won her first consolation over Maize but dropped the 9th place semifinal game to Bishop Carroll, sending her to the 11th place match. She took down Trinity to secure 11th place in a loaded field.

“I’m proud of the way our girls battled today,” Glaser said. “They showed a lot of heart in tough situations.”

In the first high school event since KSHSAA canceled the basketball state championships five months ago, eight teams took to the courts in Wichita. It was less than 48 hours after USD 259, Wichita Public Schools, canceled all fall sports for the first nine weeks.

“I tell our girls every day that we get to play tennis and how lucky we are,” Andover Central head coach Janet Glaser said. “It was so nice to be out among so many players today.

All-in-all, eight teams from around the state came to play in the always loaded Collegiate Classic. Originally, 20 teams were scheduled to participate. However, with Wyandotte County saying no sports and Olathe expected to do the same, a lot of the teams from the western part of the state bowed out.

Salina’s Sacred Heart came the furthest. All seven other teams are within minutes of Wichita.

“I wasn’t sure we were going to get to come to this tournament,” Sacred Heart’s Tom Perrin said. “We got the call and off we went. This is a fun tournament to play in. I’m glad our girls got to play today.”

Overall, Andover Central finished fifth out of the eight teams. The top five was decided by eight points. Collegiate won the tournament with 39 points. Kapaun Mt. Carmel had 38 points in second place.

“We definitely exceeded our expectations overall,” Glaser said. “It was so much fun being out here today.”

Wichita Collegiate Classic team results:

Collegiate 39; Kapaun Mt. Carmel 38; Sacred Heart 36; Bishop Carroll 32; Andover Central; Maize 27; Maize South 23; Wichita Trinity 16