McPherson's Casyn Buchman said she and Kirsten Holle are still a work in progress as a doubles team.
With only four tennis tournaments under their belts, it's logical.
"We still struggle with our communication," Buchman said. "We just have to get harmonized."
Buchman and Holle can iron out the wrinkles knowing their partnership is off to a promising start. They defeated Salina Central juniors Ashley DeTurk and Kelsey Hauserman 6-2, 6-2 to win the Class 5A girls doubles title Saturday at Riverside Tennis Center.
McPherson finished third in the team competition, edging Bishop Carroll in a head-to-head tiebreaker for the final team trophy. St. Thomas Aquinas, led by singles finalists Nicole Jara and Natalie Looney, won its second consecutive 5A title with 40 points, five ahead of runner-up Salina Central.
Buchman, who finished second in 5A singles last season as a sophomore, and Holle finished 15-0 as a doubles tandem. After handing DeTurk and Hauserman their first loss of the season in last week's Salina South regional, they repeated the feat in dominant fashion Saturday.
"We complement each other really well," said Holle, a sophomore. "I'm better from the baseline and she's better at the net."
The tournament's final day started ominously for Buchman and Holle. They dropped the first three games of their semifinal match against Bishop Miege's Meghan McMahon and Hannah Crandall. But the Bullpups stormed back to win 6-4, 6-1, then carried the momentum into the championship match.
"If we practiced a lot more together, we could be better," Holle said. "We just kind of threw it together and it worked out."
In singles, Jara, a senior, avenged a regional final loss to Looney to win her second consecutive 5A title. Jara also defeated Kapaun Mount Carmel junior Maddie Schulte 6-0, 7-5 in the semifinals.
Schulte rebounded to finish third in her first season of singles, defeating Bishop Carroll's Hillary Hicks 6-2, 6-2.
"I was happy when I got through to the semifinals," said Schulte, who helped Kapaun finish sixth. "It was a tough match in the semis, but I was glad to come back and win my final match."
Area players claimed half of the top 12 spots in singles. Arkansas City junior Mariah Vargas finished fifth, Andover sophomore Mel Mihelic seventh, Hutchinson sophomore Shayla Roath ninth and Andover Central freshman Amy Fugit 11th. In doubles, McPherson's Ashley Allmon and Katie Bomberger were sixth and Carroll's Courtney Dold and Paige Lauer defeated teammates Anna Gunther and Maddie Oxler for seventh.
At Riverside Tennis Center
Team scores — St. Thomas Aquinas 40, Salina Central 35, McPherson 27, Bishop Carroll 27, Topeka West 19, Kapaun Mount Carmel 15, Bishop Miege 14, Arkansas City 13, Andover 9, Gardner-Edgerton 9, Hutchinson 8, Lansing 7, Salina South 7, Andover Central 6, Liberal 5, Shawnee Heights 3, Great Bend 2, Topeka Seaman 2, Emporia 1, Winfield 1, Bonner Springs 0, Pittsburg 0, Mill Valley 0.
Championship—Nicole Jara, Aquinas, def. Natalie Looney, Aquinas, 6-1, 7-5; Third— Maddie Schulte, Kapaun, def. Hillary Hicks, Bishop Carroll, 6-2, 6-2; Fifth— Mariah Vargas, Arkansas City, def. Samantha Aleman, Gardner-Edgerton, 9-5; Seventh— Mel Mihelic, Andover, def. Megan Quinley, Salina South, 9-3; Ninth— Shayla Roath, Hutchinson, def. Susan Nguyen, Liberal, 9-5; 11th— Amy Fugit, Andover Central, def. Jordan Brown, Salina Central, 9-5. Semifinals— Looney, Aquinas, def. Hicks, Bishop Carroll, 6-2, 6-1; Jara, Aquinas, def. Schulte, Kapaun, 6-0, 7-5.
Championship—Casyn Buchman-Kirsten Holle, McPherson, def. Ashley DeTurk-Kelsey Hauserman, Salina Central, 6-2, 6-2; Third— Abby Morris-Gabby Briggs, Salina Central, def. Meghan McMahon-Hannah Crandall, Bishop Miege, 6-0, 6-2; Fifth— Elizabeth Kresie-Ashley Welch, Topeka West, def. Ashley Allmon-Katie Bomberger, McPherson, 9-3; Seventh— Courtney Dold-Paige Lauer, Bishop Carroll, def. Anna Gunther-Maddie Oxler, Bishop Carroll, 9-4; Ninth— Lauren Huddlestun-Adreanne Orlanes, Aquinas, def. Adrienne Hearrell-Sarah Schneider, Topeka West, 9-6; 11th— Ariana Domke-Anisha Patel, Lansing, def. Morgan Hines-Kaitlyn Burton, Shawnee Heights, 9-7. Semifinals— Buchman-Holle, McPherson, def. McMahon-Crandall, Bishop Miege, 6-4, 6-1; DeTurk-Hauserman, Salina Central, def. Morris-Briggs, Salina Central, 4-6, 6-2, 10-7.