Girls Tennis wrapped up its season the weekend of October 14-15 at the KSHSAA 4A State Tournament hosted by Bishop Miege in Prairie Village. The same five state-qualifiers from last year returned to the final tournament this year, and for three seniors this appearance marked the end of their high school tennis careers.
The doubles teams of senior Ashlyn Gerten/sophomore Kadynce Aufdengarten and senior Jensen Lynnes/junior Lyric Cornejo, as well as senior singles player Kami Reichenberger, all made the repeat state appearance after their 2nd place finish as a team in 2021. Head Coach Brian Aufdengarten's report is as follows:
In the first round Wellington had a sweep, winning all 3 of their matches. Reichenberger played Schibi from Parsons and won 6-0,6-1, while Gerten and Aufdengarten beat Elliott/Merritt from Chapman 6-2,6-1, and Lynnes and Cornejo beat Lazarczyk/Winklhofer from Bishop Miege 6-2,6-2.
In round two, the doubles team of Lynnes and Cornejo beat Stucky/Young from McPherson who finished 2nd in their regional, 6-2,6-0. Reichenberger ran into a very tough player from Chapman, Frieze, who ended up the state runner-up, and lost 1-6,1-6. Gerten and Aufdengarten also dropped their match to regional winner Kuhn/Kuhn from McPherson who was the overall #2 seed, 2-6,1-6.
Next up for Lynnes and Cornejo was a quarterfinal match where they played regional winner Independence's Schlorholtz/Mattix. Wellington dominated the match at the start winning the first set 6-1, then Independence came back to win the second set 6-3. This put them in a final third set, and Wellington could not get the momentum back and lost 4-6. That match was tough not sure what happened, we got tight and were missing shots. I think once we got behind the panic mode set in, I didn't feel like Independence made alot of adjustments, we just had too many unforced errors.
Meanwhile Reichenberger and the other doubles team had to play on the backside where every match was an elimination match and you had to win two in a row. Reichenberger played Myers from Bishop Miege who got upset in her first match. We weren't expecting to see her on the backside, she's a good player, but Kami went out and competed hard and won 9-2. The doubles team of Gerten and Aufdengarten matched up with Clay Center's Sterling/Pfizenmaier and won easily 9-1.
Next was Reichenberger against Richardson from Augusta and the outcome in the match is not what Wellington wanted. Richardson gets the ball back with not alot of pace and will play one point for 5 minutes if she needs to, and Reichenberger was frustrated by that. Reichenberger lost the match 1-9 which ended her season with an overall record of 19-18, and a career record with 72 career wins, a two-time state qualifier, and an 8th place finish at state last season.
Gerten and Aufdengarten had to win one more match on Friday and they had to play Independence's usual #1 doubles team that finished 2nd in their regional Kippenberg/Kippenberg. This was the second meeting of the two teams this year with Wellington coming out on top in the first meeting. Gerten and Aufdengarten did the same thing again and beat the good Independence team 9-5. This qualified the Wellington pair for day two.
The only problem was that the two Wellington teams had to open up with each other in the first match on Saturday. Not what we wanted but at least they both were through. I wasn't looking forward to this match, but that's how the bracket works. Much like the regional tournament where both teams met up, Lynnes and Cornejo came out on top 9-4. Lynnes and Cornejo then got a rematch with Buhler's Babcock/Nickel who Wellington lost to in a tiebreak the first meet of the season. The match went back and forth in the beginning and the Wellington pair held a 5-4 lead, then Lynnes and Cornejo finished the match 9-6. That was a nice little revenge match we've wanted back all season and finally got it. In their final match Lynnes and Cornejo played a pesty Wamego team of Jones/Crubel. The match started out back and forth throughout, but just like the match before, Wellington pulled ahead and won 9-6 to finish 5th overall.
Gerten and Aufdengarten never recovered after losing to their teammates and dropped a match to Fort Scott 7-9. This then had Wellington playing against Topeka Hayden's Barnett/Sims were the Wellington pair got their composure back and won the match 9-5. Wellington finished 6th as a team which is their 15th time having a top 10 team finish in the past 19 years at state. Kadynce Aufdengarten and Ashlyn Gerten put their name in the record books by tying with a couple of players for the second most wins in a season with 32. Gerten ends her career with 95 career wins, Aufdengarten has 60 career win in her first two years, and both are two-time state qualifiers. Lyric Cornejo is also a two-time state qualifier and medalist, and now has 67 career wins. Jensen Lynnes was a three-time state qualifier and 2-time state medalist with Cornejo placing 4th last season and 5th this year. She ends her career with 93 career wins. Talk about some seniors I don't want to lose, this was a tough weekend with lots of tears. This team has become really close and we lose 9 seniors in all and such a great group of girls. These girls will be tough to replace.
Jensen Lynnes and Lyric Cornejo made the All-State Team selections, and this is the 19th straight year that WHS GIrls Tennis has had a presence at State! This is an amazing program, and WHS will sorely miss the graduating seniors, but we look forward to the great things sure to continue!
Congratulations to the whole tennis team on a great season, and to coaches Brian Aufdengarten and Daphne Adams on their continued success with the program!