Another 4A tennis title for Collegiate’s Withrow
Collegiate’s Withrow wins another Class 4A tennis title
EMPORIA Independence tennis coach Ken Brown bluntly stated that, during Monday’s Class 4A singles final at Emporia High, sophomore Abbi Groff played as good as she can play.
“And she lost (6-0, 6-0),” Brown said, smiling.
Such is the dominance of Collegiate junior Brooke Withrow, who defeated Groff to win her second straight 4A singles title.
Withrow (32-0) didn’t lose a game in regionals or the 4A tournament.
“That’s amazing,” Collegiate coach Dave Hawley said. “No lost games in a state tournament. Her last eight matches were 16 sets to zero…. She is a player. Just amazing. Not just because she wins, but she’s the gold standard on how you compete, how you play and how you prepare.”
Collegiate also dominated in the team standings, winning the title with 68 points, 35 more than second-place Independence. Hesston finished fourth.
Both Collegiate doubles teams advanced to the finals with the freshman team of Morgan Bergen-Hannah Osland beating the senior team of Keli Dunn-Lindsay Funke 7-6 (5), 7-5.
“The seniors, we talked about it ahead of time, ‘these guys will come out with nothing to lose,’” Hawley said he told Dunn and Funke. “They did. Hannah and Morgan, they had five match points before they ever won it. It got away from them, and yet it didn’t bother them.”
Osland said the goal was to play aggressive against their teammates, who had beaten them 6-1, 6-0 in the regional championship on Oct. 6.
“We knew we had to play crazy aggressive and go for everything,” Osland said. “… This is just so humbling to (win) as a freshman. It’s a great finish for the season.”
As for Withrow, her play was nearly flawless and Groff only scored nine points.
Groff relies on hustle plays to beat opponents, and she had several Monday that would have been clear winners – against many other players. Not against Withrow.
Withrow’s serve also didn’t allow Groff to gain any confidence, even on her second serve. While high school players tend to lob the second serve, Withrow’s had nearly the same velocity.
Her strength, though, is her ability to change tempos. She’d lull Groff into returning hard strokes, then suddenly take a little speed off and Groff was caught flat-footed.
“This is awesome,” Withrow said of her win. “It’s really great. I’m just really excited for the team, and it shows that all the hard work this year really paid off.”
Collegiate 68; 2. Independence 33; 3. Topeka Hayden 26; 4. Hesston 21; 5. (tie) Buhler, DeSoto, Winfield 15; 8. Wellington 14; 9. McPherson 13; 10. (tie) Smoky Valley, Trinity Academy 9; 12. Chapman 8; 13. Parsons 4; 14. (tie) Abilene, Baldwin, Larned 3; 17. Pittsburg 2; 18. Atchison 1.
First – Broooke Withrow, Collegiate, dec. Abbi Groff, Independence, 6-0, 6-0. Third – Paige Williams, DeSoto, dec. Jaya Mantovani, Collegiate, 6-3, 3-6, ,6-1. Fifth – Ali Anderson, Hesston dec. Emily Sarnacki, Winfield, 9-1. Seventh – Jessica Van Ranken, Lincoln, dec. Olivia Schmidtberger, 9-3. Ninth – Amber Zimmerman, Trinity Academy, dec. Allison Ivers, McPherson, 9-7. 11th – Paige Hunter, Hayden, dec. Malina Kipp, Parsons, 9-4.
Withrow, Collegiate, dec. Williams, DeSoto, 6-0, 6-0; Groff, Independence dec. Mantovani, Collegiate, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
Morgan Berger-Hannah Osland, Collegiate, dec. Keli Dunn, Lindsay Funke, Collegiate, 7-6 (5), 7-5. Third – Vickie Dukart-Jessica Steffen, Buhler, dec. Jaimie Myers-Jenna Pelter, Hayden, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. Fifth – Kelsey Porter-TyraWelch, Independence, dec. Kailey Jenkins-Ashley Collins, Wellington, 9-5. Seventh – Rachel Shogren-Ashley Weaver, Hesston, dec. Morgan Potter-Laura Thurlow, Chaparral, 9-2. Ninth – Rikki Alderson-Kaylee Page, Wamego, dec. Lauren McClain-Dani Williams, Pratt, 9-6.
Bergen-Osland, Collegiate, dec. Myers-Pelter, Hayden, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Dunn-Funke, Collegiate, dec. Dukart-Steffen, Buhler, 6-0, 6-1.