KEARNEY — Victories may have been hard to come by for area teams at the state tennis championships Friday in Omaha and Lincoln, but there was no disappointment for those coaches - when taking a quick glance at the big picture - at the conclusion of the season.
Kearney High’s No. 2 doubles team of Leigha Limbach and Stephanie Shields lost both of their matches to take a fourth-place finish in Omaha, but KHS coach Troy Saulsbury was happy with their performance, and the team’s eighth-place overall finish.
“Being a top eight team in a state says a lot about the girls and how they competed this year,” Saulsbury said.
Limbach and Shields faced an Omaha Westside team in the semifinals, dropping the first set 7-6 after losing the tiebreaker 7-5. Westside would take set two 6-3 to advance.
“They played really well that first match,” Saulsbury said of Limbach and Shields. “With a tiebreaker like that, if we could’ve had a break here or there — just one other thing go our way — we could’ve won that set and it would’ve been a whole different match.”
The Bearcat duo faced Millard North in the consolation match, falling 6-1, 6-4.
Back west in Lincoln, Kearney Catholic and Holdrege were preparing for semifinal matches in the Class B tournament.
KCHS’ Morgan Stute (No. 2 singles) won the first set of her match against the two-time defending No. 2 singles state champion, but Omaha Skutt’s Caroline Friedman used her experience to adjust and take control of the match for the win.
“Morgan was playing her game,” KCHS coach Ron Messbarger said. “She used a lot of drop shots and lobs. Her opponent was able to change the tide, however.”
Stute rebounded for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over an experienced Omaha Duchesne opponent in the consolation match to capture bronze.
The No. 1 doubles team of Lauren Messbarger and Shayla Conner also lost in the semifinals and weren’t able to recover in the consolation match against a McCook team they’d beaten earlier in the season, finishing fourth in the tourney.
“It was the first time all season that Lauren and Shayla couldn’t take control of the net,” Messbarger said. “The wind wasn’t to their advantage, and McCook lobbed the ball well.”
Kearney Catholic still managed to finish fifth place overall in Class B, pleasing Messbarger.
“As I’ve said before, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and it turned into a remarkable season with a very competitive team. We’re only losing one senior (Haylee McKelvey), so it should be pretty exciting again next year.”
Not far behind the Stars was Holdrege, led by No. 1 singles player Reinette Strydom.
The trend continued for area teams, as Strydom lost both matches for a fourth-place finish. She led the Dusters to a seventh-place finish in Class B.
Omaha Westside 51, Omaha Marian 46, Millard North 24, Lincoln Southwest 30, Millard West 22, Lincoln Southeast 20, Omaha Central 18, Grand Island 16, Kearney 16, Lincoln East 16, Papillion-LaVista 16, Columbus 14, Fremont 12, Bellevue East 10, Papillion-LaVista South 10, Lincoln Northeast 8, Omaha North 8, Millard South 6, Omaha Burke 6, Bellevue West 4, Omaha Bryan 4, Lincoln High 2, Lincoln North Star 2, North Platte 2, Omaha Northwest 2.
No. 1 Singles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Katherin Nelson, Omaha Marian, def. Emma Schelble, Millard West, 6-2, 6-1.
CONSOLATION — Sydney Harlow, Omaha Westside, def. Giselle Tran, Omaha Central, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 Singles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Dylan Harlow, Omaha Westside, def. Julia Tatten, Omaha Marian, 7-5, 7-5.
CONSOLATION — Allison Johson, Millard North, def. Chelsea Haack, Columbus, 6-1, 6-4.
No. 1 Doubles
CHAMPIONSHIP — 1, McKinney Harwood/Andrea Kinnerk, Omaha Westside, def. Jessica Koraleski/Courtney Warren, Omaha Marian, 7-6, 7-6.
CONSOLATION — Elizabeth Ternent/Katherine Ternent, Millard North, def. Saki Aota/Ann Bogdanov, Lincoln Southwest, 5-7, 6-4, 2-1 ret.
No. 2 Doubles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Lauren Works/Sarah Hove, Lincoln Southwest, def. Allison Fisher/Katherin Slosburg, Omaha Westside, 6-3, 6-1.
CONSOLATION — Libby Koukol/Alexandra McCarthy, Millard North, def. Leigha Limbach/Stephanie Shields, Kearney, 6-1, 6-4.
Omaha Skutt Catholic 54, Elkhorn South 46.5, Omaha Duchesne Academy 27, McCook 23, Kearney Catholic 22.5, Grand Island Central Catholic 22, Holdrge 20, Ogallala 20, Lincoln Pius X 16, Norris 14, Gretna 12, Waverly 12, Beatrice 10, Hastings 10, York 10, Elkhorn 8, Lexington 8, Omaha Groos Catholic 8, Scottsbluff 8, Lincoln Christian 6, Adams Central 4, Hastings St. Cecilia 4, South Sioux City 4, Blair 2, Crete 2, Wilber-Clatonia 2.
No. 1 Singles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Hylan Miller, Elkhorn South, def. Teresa Kaiser, Omaha Skutt Catholic, 6-3, 6-3.
CONSOLATION — Kathryn Carlson, Omaha Duchesne Academy, def. Reinette Strydom, Holdrege 6-3, 6-3.
No. 2 Singles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Addie Litterick, Beatrice, def. Caroline Friedman, Omaha Skutt Catholic, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
CONSOLATION — Morgan Stute, Kearney Catholic, def. Delaney Sweet, Omaha Duchesne Acadamy, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
No. 1 Doubles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Emilee Johnson,/Stephanie Kaiser, Omaha Skutt Catholic, def. Tiffany Hottman/Emily Fink, Elkhorn South, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
CONSOLATION — Kaylee Samway/Kassidy Gillen, McCook, def. Laren Messbarger/Shayla Conner, Kearney Catholic, 6-4, 6-2.
No. 2 Doubles
CHAMPIONSHIP — Lauren Camenzind/Bianca Lowe, Omaha Skutt Catholic, def. Elizabeth McQuillan/Laramie Schlichte-meier, Ogallala, 6-1, 6-4.
CONSOLATION — Rachel Kammer/Mallory Placek, Elkhorn South, def. Kelsey Flaherty/Jessica Wiens, Grand Island Central Catholic, 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.