The Final Swing

The Raider girls golf and tennis squads head into the finishing stretch of their season with regional events.

Last weekend (Oct. 10-11) the girls tennis team competed at regionals, hoping to qualify for state. Although seniors Mary Novak and Madison Hanna got 5th place at regionals, they won’t be going to state this year due to new coronavirus protocols only allowing 4 doubles teams to go to state.
“Even though we didn’t make it this year, I’m so glad we got to experience state the past 2 years. We played our very last match of our high school tennis career last weekend and it was definitely the best match we have ever played and I’m so happy we got to end it like that,” Novak said.
Tennis coach Kurt Hodge was able to focus on a positive though, everyone won their first round match, the first time that had happened in recent memory. This allowed everyone to play in a state-qualifying match. Doubles team Lauren Gunter and Lara Lorenz lost to the #1 seed from SME who are defending state champs in doubles. Madeleine Encko lost to the #3 seed from Olathe Northwest and Neely Hopkins lost to the #2 seed from Mill Valley.
“On paper Mary and Madison had the really only winnable 2nd round match. They played well but were just a little outmatched that day,” Hodge said.
Tuesday (Oct. 13) was golf regionals. Junior McLain Neal was paired with 2 great players, one being the 3rd best player in the nation. McLain tied for second with a 76.
“I played well but I definately could have played better. Overall, I had a fun time and I am excited to be in Hesston for the state tournament on Monday and Tuesday,” McLain said.
The other 4 girls, Gretchen Schultz, Katie McElroy, Dylan Ziegler and Molly McCune also shot really well. As a team the girls scored 398, one of their best team scores of the year, and took 6 place out of 11 teams.
“All in all it was a great day of golf for SM South,” golf coach Shaun Henry said.