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Crotinger, Nolan and Woelk are State-Bound

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The doubles team of Krya Nolan (left) and Karlyn Woelk (right) and singles player Lauren Crotinger (center) all qualified for the 1A-3A State Tennis meet to be held Oct. 18 and 19 in Kansas City.

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The doubles team of Krya Nolan (left) and Karlyn Woelk (right) and singles player Lauren Crotinger (center) all qualified for the 1A-3A State Tennis meet to be held Oct. 18 and 19 in Kansas City.

The Greeley County High School Varsity Tennis Team traveled to Meade on Thursday, October 10th, to compete in the 1-2-3-A Regional Tennis Tournament on Friday and Saturday. There were 22 singles players and 22 doubles teams competing. This tournament involved 12 different Kansas schools. This was one of four Regionals held. The top six players in each division and Regional would move on to compete at the 1-2-3-A State Tournament to be held in Kansas City October 18th and 19th. Our Regional team this year was senior Lauren Crotinger and sophomore Kalli Knobbe playing singles; sophomore Kyra Nolan with freshman Karlyn Woelk, and sophomore Payton Walk with junior Macie Lehman, playing doubles. On Friday morning with numerous layers of clothes and coats, we started play. Kalli Knobbe hit the courts first. Kalli played a girl from Meade that she had lost to at League. Kalli took control early and played the best tennis she had played all season. Kalli defeated Meade 9-0. This was a tough match but Kalli was very determined and focused! It was fun to watch her control and win this match in her first Regional appearance. Next on the courts were Payton and Macie. They came out nervous and cold but were trying to get it together. This match was definitely a nail-biter! The girls persevered and defeated St. John in a tie-breaker. We were very proud of how these two never gave up and it paid off for them. This also was their first Regional appearance! Finally, approximately five hours later. Lauren hit the courts for the first time. We were playing this Regional on only four courts so it being cold and slow would definitely take its toll on the athletes. Laure played Minneola and this was a great warm-up match for her. She played well, defeating her 6-1, 6-0. Lauren was lucky to get the #4 seed as there were 10 really great singles players out of the 22 at this meet, so it was going to be a battle to stay in the top six. Our doubles team of Kyra and Karlyn also had a 5-6 hour wait. They also battled the nerves. . This was Kyra’s second Regional and Karlyn’s first. These girls had the #3 seed but once again it was anybody’s game through the top 12 doubles teams. They settled in and defeated their 1st round play 6-3, 6-1. Kalli Knobbe hit the courts again, playing against the #6 seed from Ellinwood. Kalli played awesome but she was defeating, winning games in both sets. We were very proud of Kalli. She peaked at Regionals and went 1-1, ending her season on a very positive not. She did a super job and represented our school with pride!! The doubles team of Macie and Payton were next on the court. They would be playing the #6 seed from Ellinwood. We went out on fire and surprised everyone, winning the first set 6-3. The momentum switched in the next set to Ellinwood and they won the next set. So our #11 seeded team takes the #6 seeded team to three sets. It was awesome! I thought we had them but we lost the last set. Oh, my gosh, these two played their hearts out and earned a lot of respect. They were out of the tournament but they both were true winners to our fans and team. They were 1-1 at their first Regional. Lauren was back up and it was late and cold. She would play the #5 seed from Ashland. Lauren has battled her before, barely taking the League title away from her. So it was going to be tough. Lauren came out playing very safe and tight. Our shots were just kissing the tape or barely out. Ashland was on fire and couldn’t miss anything. Lauren was defeated but still in the mix to go to State. On Saturday she would play early to either be done or State bound! Our doubles team of Kyra and Karlyn would finally hit the courts again! We were the last match of Friday night. This would be a tough one. We played Ellinwood, the #6 seed. We had sat for such a long time and it was very cold and windy. We dropped the first set 4-6, came back and won the second set 7-5, and won the their super tie-breaker set 10-7! Wow, this was tough and very exhausting for the players and all the fans!! These two were in the top four so we knew they were State bound. They both had no idea what pressure really comes with this sport and they did a great job winning this match. They would also play on Saturday. The team finally got to eat around 10:30 and go to bed to get ready for the next day of play!! Saturday morning was much nicer weather. Lauren would start our team off. She would play Scott City. We came out focused and won the first set 6-1. The next set we were up and Lauren actually took a dive for a ball and things went south mentally. We lost the next set 4-6. Lauren was a much better player but nerves and being a senior was making us play tight. Lauren finally settled in and won the third set 6-3. She was on her way to State. She had one more match to play for 5th or 6th. Kyra and Karlyn, the 3rd seed, would play the Scott City #2 seed. Oh, my, this was a great match! Both girls played their best in this match! We won the first set 6-3, then lost the next set 4-6, and in the third set, it was a battle but Scott City came out on top 6-4. I feel like we gave this match our all, moving and stroking the ball well. They had one more match to play for 3rd or 4th. Lauren’s last match was against Kiowa County. She played well the first set, winning 6-2. In the next set you could tell we were sore and tired but Lauren stayed strong and won 6-4. Lauren placed 5th at this tough Regional and was State bound. Kyra and Karlyn would play another Scott City team for 3rd and 4th. Our play was hot at first, being up 4-1. The a few questionable calls were made and we didn’t handle this well, and were defeated the first set 4-6. This carried on to the next set. We just couldn’t get it put together and were defeated. The great thing was they were State bound with a 4th place finish! It was a very long Regional due to weather and playing on four courts. All the girls contributed to our team points and we tied for Regional Runner-up but didn’t get the plaque due to percentages. We were very proud of all the girls this season. Many played numerous positions and represented our team well. It is super so be taking three to State and having a young team so everyone but Lauren will be back. All the girls played their best at Regionals and that’s all you can ask!! Thanks to everyone who took campers, made breakfast and coolers. Tennis is long days and wankie weather! We really appreciate all our fans for their dedication! Whoop, whoop!! Headed for KC!! Super job, girls. You made it happen! — Coach Myers
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