Several girls from around the area have qualified for state tennis tournament action this weekend.
A total of 18 players from the area will be participating in either the Class 4A or 5A state tournaments. State action will begin Friday morning at both sites.
Many of the state qualifiers from the region will be competing at the Class 4A State Tournament at the T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center in Winfield.
Leading the way is Chanute Regional champion Independence, which qualified all six individuals for the state tournament. The Lady Bulldogs — led by regional doubles champions Kaydn King and Tia Gregory (34-1) — earned a ninth consecutive regional team title last weekend and will be sending all six players to state for a third consecutive year.
Also qualifying from Independence are the regional doubles runner-up team of Blair Dodson and Piper Marquez (10-3), as well as singles players Jenna Eytcheson (16-6) and Browyn O’Malley (12-12). Eytcheson took fourth place at regionals, while O’Malley finished in sixth.
Last season, Independence captured fourth place overall at the Class 4A State Tournament. Since 2001, the Lady Bulldogs have 11 top-three finishes as a team at state, including five championships, two runner-up finishes and fourth third-place performances.
Parsons and Chanute will both have three players competing at state. Gracen Friess of Parsons will take a 25-4 record into the weekend after capturing the singles championship of the Chanute Regional. The Vikings will also be represented by the doubles team of Jaidyn Shultz and Lauren Farris (14-12), who took fourth place at Chanute. As for Chanute, it will be led by singles player Kori Babcock (13-11), who was third at regionals, as well as the doubles team of Lilly Falk and Filippa Kyed (18-7), who placed fifth.
Also advancing to state from the Chanute Regional was the Fort Scott doubles team of Ella Beth and Emma Daly (15-11), who were sixth place.
Iola will also have a total of three players advancing to state from the Topeka-Hayden Regional. That will include the doubles team of Allie Utley and Gabby Richards (19-6), fifth at regionals; as well as singles player Carlie Payne (16-9), sixth at regionals.
Pittsburg High School will be the host school for this year’s Class 5A State Tournament.
The hometown Purple Dragons will have one player competing on their own courts. PHS junior Emily McGown will take a 26-6 overall record in singles into this weekend after capturing fourth place at the Emporia Regional Tournament.
One week earlier, McGown took third place in No. 1 singles at the Southeast Kansas League Tournament in Parsons.