INDEPENDENCE — A second place showing a tournament in Independence has the Parsons Vikings girls tennis team trending upwards.

Gracen Friess took first place in the No. 1 singles division. The defending SEK League champion defeated Katie Zwahen of Labette County 8-0 and Ellie Kippenberger of Independence 8-1 before ousting Mercy Smith of Independence 8-2 in the final match of the day.

“Gracen had another good day,” Parsons head coach Tyler Beardmore said. “She continues to win easy points off of her serve and looks to dictate the match from the beginning.  She’s playing really good tennis right now.”

Sydney Schibi also had a stellar day for Parsons, going 3-0 and taking first in the No. 2 singles bracket.

Schibi defeated Lakin Giager of Labette County, Hannah Kippenberger of Independence 8-3 and Karma Roth of Independence 8-5.

“After getting two wins in Ark City, Sydney hasn’t looked back,” Beardmore said. “She’s a competitor and will do anything it takes to win. She’s been putting in work outside of practice and it’s starting to show in her matches. Her going 3-0 today was a huge accomplishment, but I can tell you she’s not satisfied, she wants to continue to get better.”

In the No. 1 doubles division, Jaidyn Shultz and Lauren Farris went 2-1.

Shultz and Farris beat Brown and Sorrell of Labette County 8-2 and O’Malley and Dodson of Independence 8-2 before dropping a match to Marquez and Gregory of Independence 8-5.

“Jaidyn and Lauren were finally able to get off to a good start in their first match and it carried over into their next two matches,” Beardmore said. “They’re starting to get more consistent from the baseline and are getting more comfortable at the net. We’ve pushed them to be more aggressive in their matches and they were able to execute yesterday. They came up short in their final match, but at times they were playing the best tennis I’ve seen them play.”

Finally, Jazzy Palmer and Cait Chalker went 1-2 in the No. 2 doubles division.

The Parsons duo beat Chism and Bainum of Independence 8-5 and lost to Bradford and Hayward of Labette County 8-2 as well as Smith and Majors of Fort Scott 8-6.

“Cait and Jazzy struggled a little in their first match, but looked much better in their next two matches,” Beardmore said. “We’ve been stressing consistency and footwork with them, and in their second match they showed they can do it and pulled out the win. They still need to be more consistent from the baseline and not be themselves at times, but they showed a lot of improvement.” 

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