Collegiate girls tennis coach Dave Hawley called the doubles bracket at Saturday's Tournament of Champions at Collegiate one that was consistently deep with talent.
"First round people had to come out and play," he said. "You had to play every single match, because that was just the level of play."
Bishop Carroll's Courtney Dold and Paige Lauer survived a tough second round to make it to the final, then beat Collegiate's Esther Cho and Jillian Johnson 8-6 in the final, helping propel the Eagles to a second-place tie in the team standings with Independent at 60 points.
"It was a huge win (at doubles), because of the competition at this tournament. There was no doubles team that didn't have a winning record," Carroll coach Monica Peter said. "There usually seems to be one match in either the first or second round that kind of makes or breaks you.
"We beat a very good Blue Valley West team in the second round, down 6-3, and came back and won in a tie break 8-7. That just gave them confidence. They started playing well and it set the tone for the day."
Carroll's Hillary Hicks finished fifth in singles, defeating Maize's Tiffany Khounsombath 8-4.
McPherson took the team title with 76 points, as Casyn Buchman placed first in singles and Kristen Holle placed fourth. Ashley Allmon and Katie Bomberger finished in fourth in doubles.
Independent was aided by Caroline Lincoln at No. 1 singles. Lincoln lost in the final to Buchman 8-5. Emily Ramseyer and Kelsey Eklund placed sixth in doubles.
The Panthers scored points at all four levels (No.1 singles, No. 2 singles, No. 1 doubles, and No. 2 doubles), one of just three teams to do so.
"We lost one of our doubles players last night when she hurt her knee (Radha Nagireddy) so I had to call someone at 6:30 this morning to come and play," Independent coach Simon Norman said. "But we had all four of our spots contribute points, so it was a very good day for us."
Kapaun Mount Carmel's Maddie Schulte finished third in singles, falling to Buchman in the semifinals 8-1 before rebounding in the third place game against Holle 8-0. Madeline Engel placed seventh for the Crusaders.
Elyse Bigler finished eighth in singles for Collegiate , and the doubles team of Grace LeMaster and Keli Dunn placed seventh.
"I thought our effort was perfect. I love the way we competed, that is our biggest strength right now," Hawley said. "We are still kind of a work in progress. Even the kids with experience are still pretty young, so they are going to get better. Days like this are defining."
Team scores—1. McPherson 76; 2. Bishop Carroll 60; 2. Independent 60; 4. Collegiate Blue 59; 5. Independence 45; 6. Kapaun Mount Carmel 41; 7. Maize 40; 8. Hesston 31; 9. Blue Valley West 29; 10. Conway Springs 28; 11. Ellinwood 21; 12. Parsons 15; 13. Goddard 0; 13. Collegiate Gold 0.
No.1 Singles— 1. Buchman, McPherson, def. Lincoln, Independent, 8-5; 3. Schulte, Kapaun, def. Holle, McPherson, 8-0; 5. Hicks, Carroll, def. Khounsombath, Maize, 8-4; 7. Engel, Kapaun, def. Bigler, Collegiate Blue, 8-2; 9. Koester, Conway Springs, def. Hageman, Hesston, 5-0.
No. 1 Doubles—1. Dold-Lauer, Carroll, def. Cho-Johnson, Collegiate Blue, 8-6; 3. Carr-Conner, Independence, def. Allmon-Bomberger, McPherson, 8-2; 5. Shogren-Weaver, Hesston, def. Ramseyer-Eklund, Independent, 8-2; 7. LeMaster-Dunn, Collegiate Blue, def. Luckner-Gerber, Conway Springs, 8-3; 9. McGrath-Baxter, Independence, def. Friesen-Rezac, Maize, 8-4.