Northwest girls 8th at 6A state tennis
The Shawnee Mission Northwest girls tennis team found itself well represented at the Class 6A state tournament by the doubles team of senior Mary Slattery and junior Claire Gordon.
Slattery and Gordon went 3-2 and even earned some new fans by their winning performance Friday and Saturday at the Wichita Riverside Tennis Center.
“They played really well,” said Northwest head tennis coach Ken Clow. “My kids were fantastic.”
The pair had earned a bye in the first round which set up a second round matchup against Anne Hodges and Anne Roberson from Manhattan. Slattery and Gordon swept the Manhattan pair in two sets, winning with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 performance to move into the quarterfinals. However, the Blue Valley North duo of Ellen Fields and Megan Schultz — who would eventually finish second — dispatched the Northwest girls into the consolation bracket.
Once there, Slattery and Gordon made short work of another Manhattan duo, Erin Kruse and Maddy Johnson, 9-0. That set up a match between Sunflower League rivals Meredith Shackelford and Stephanie Wilcox of Shawnee Mission East. The match was tight early and eventually a linesman was brought in as a number of out of bounds calls were disputed. Eventually, Slattery and Gordon outmatched their district rivals, 9-3.
“My kids were fantastic in that game,” Clow said. “The East crowd got very vocal, and I just told my girls to use that cheering to motivate them. Afterwards, one spectator came up to me and said, ‘I’m an unbiased fan, and I just want to tell you that your girls won very graciously.’ So, we made a fan there.”
Eventually, however, the Northwest pair was stopped by the Blue Valley North duo of Alyx Paisner and Emma Fields, 9-5, in the fifth-place match, taking home sixth place in doubles.
Freshman Carly Olson represented Northwest in the singles division, but was eliminated after a first-round loss and colsolation victory.
“Carly played well, but the other girls had more experience,” Clow said. “Still, she earned some really good experience from playing.”
The Cougars finished with nine points total, just two points away from seventh-place Manhattan High School. Shawnee Mission East ended up taking the state title, keeping the team state championship in the Sunflower League. Blue Valley North earned the second-place trophy, while Topeka Washburn Rural earned third.
Shawnee Mission North senior Lindsay Beger competed in singles at state and posted a 1-1 record. She scored a half-point for the Indians in the team standings.