Gracen Friess of Parsons notched her second straight SEK League singles title on Saturday, rattling off two wins after getting a bye.
“That was definitely a goal for her coming into this year,” Parsons head coach Tyler Beardmore said. “She took care of business. She didn’t have much trouble after the first set against Pittsburg.”
In the semifinals, Friess beat Marci Brown of Pittsburg 6-4, 6-0.
“I started pretty slow honestly,” Friess said. “I couldn’t let that set the tone for the day. I had to settle in and get my shots in. Every match is important and tough. I just had to play my game.”
In the championship match against Kori Babcock of Chanute, Friess won 6-0, 6-3 to claim the title.
“I think I played much better in the championship,” Friess said. “I love playing against Kori. I love her energy. She’s always great competition. She hustles the whole time, so I have to stay on my toes and work harder.”
In the top doubles division, Parsons’ Jaidyn Shutlz and Lauren Farris took fourth place.
Shutlz and Farris beat Elsie Sorrell and Emma Brown of Labette County 6-0, 6-2 in the first round before falling to Independence in the semifinals 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“That first set against Independence, they started looking ahead and it showed,” Beardmore said. “They never really recovered from that. Hopefully they learn from that going into regionals. You have to focus on who you’re playing.”
Shultz and Farris ended up finishing fourth, beating Chanute before falling to Pittsburg in the back side of the bracket.
In the No. 2 singles bracket, freshman Sydney Schibi of Parsons took second place. After getting a bye as the top seed, Schibi beat Fort Scot 6-0, 6-2 before falling to Chanute’s Aimee Maxton 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match.
“That’s a match she knows she could have won,” Beardmore said. “She got a little nervous being a freshman in a championship match. Moving forward, depending on some lineups, that fourth spot may be a battle between several girls. I wouldn’t count her or anybody out at this point.”
Finally in the in the No. 2 doubles bracket, Jazzy Palmer and Cait Chalker took fourth place with wins over Fort Scott and Pittsburg while falling to Fort Scott and Independence.
“All we asked everybody was to play to their seed or better,” Beardmore said. “They got fourth, so they had a really good day. They’re playing well at the right time of the year.”
Independence won the team title for the SEK League with 22 points. Parsons took second with 18 points, followed by a three-way tie for third between Chanute, Pittsburg and Fort Scott. Labette County took sixth with six points, while Coffeyville was last without a win.
“Second was about what I thought we could do, but we had a good chance to go first,” Beardmore said. “We just needed a couple matches to go differently. It was in our control, so it was a little disappointing. But second place isn’t bad with a bunch of new kids.”
Saturday’s SEK League tournament served as a dress rehearsal for this weekend’s regional tournament, which is also in Parsons.
“Hopefully SEK helped the new girls out a bit,” Beardmore said. “Regionals have added pressure. Hopefully the nerves are settled in a little bit.”