ARKANSAS CITY — At Saturday’s girls tennis invitational in Arkansas City, the Parsons Vikings notched eight victories across its four groupings.
Gracen Friess took first place in the No. 1 singles division, going 4-0 on the day. Friess defeated Indepedence’s Kristina Morris 8-5, Valley Center’s Emmay Taylor 8-4, Arkansas City’s Harley Hain 8-1 and Winfield’s Eliza Camp 8-3.
“Gracen started out slow, but in her last two matches she played the best tennis I’ve seen her play this year,” Parsons coach Tyler Beardmore said. “Her serve is improving quickly and she’s starting to win easy points off of it.”
In the No. 1 doubles bracket, Jaidyn Shultz and Lauren Farris went 2-2 to take third place for Parsons. The duo lost to Independence’s Piper Marquez and Browyn O’Malley 8-2, rebounded with an 8-0 win over Amelia Farney and Grace Brabander of Valley Center, dropped 8-1 to Arkansas City’s Ellie Messenger and Landry Biddle before ending with a win over Winfield’s Abby Isom and Anna Ross. Shultz and Farris took third place in the bracket.
“Jaidyn and Lauren got off to another slow start in their first match. That’s something they have to get over,” Beardmore said. “After their first match, they looked really good. They started hitting the ball better from the baseline and are beginning to get much more comfortable at the net. They just need to realize that they can compete with anyone they step on the court with.”
Sydney Schibi had a breakout performance in the No. 2 singles division for Parsons, winning her first two matches of the season in a 2-2 showing that earned her third place.
Schibi fell to Independence’s Mercy Smith 8-2, beat Valley Center’s Yolanda Lara 8-0 and Arkansas City’s Justise Mills 8-3 before dropping to Winfield’s Makenna Roark 8-1.
In the No. 2 doubles bracket, Jazzy Palmer and Cait Chalker went 0-4.
“Sydney’s improving with every match she plays,” Beardmore said. “She’s as competitive as anyone I’ve seen. Jazzy and Cait looked much better towards the end of the day. They’re starting to understand some doubles strategy and they’re getting better from the baseline. We just need to work on their net play a little.”
Parsons gets some time to rest before heading to Baldwin City on Sept. 16 for its next tourney.
“Baldwin is another tough meet, but it’s a meet we consistently compete in,” Beardmore said. “I look for us to have a lot of success there.”