Shawnee Mission East senior Olivia Sneed only played one season of high school tennis, and she made the most of it.
By KATHLEEN GIER
Special to The Star
Sneed captured the Kansas 6A singles title on Sunday and led the Lancers to a third consecutive team title.
“Although people got some games off of her, she’s at another level,” Shawnee Mission East head coach Sue Chipman said. “She was a very welcome addition.”
Sneed, who opted to play club tennis for her other three years of high school, met her first real challenge of the tournament when she faced Madeline Hill of Washburn Rural in the semifinals, but she went on to win 6-3, 6-1. From there, she defeated Alexis Czapinski of Lawrence Free State 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
Though they fell short of an all Lancer final when Elizabeth Barnickel lost to Czapinski in the semifinals, Barnickel bounced back and took third place. Stephanie Wilcox and Aidan Epstein added a second-place finish in doubles as the Lancers accumulated 48 team points, 20 more than second-place finisher Blue Valley North.
“I am very proud of them,” Chipman said. “They have worked very hard all season and they’ve sacrificed a lot of time.”
Morgan Steffess and Alexa Tiefel from Blue Valley took home the doubles title with a pair of 6-0, 6-0 victories on the day. It was the Tigers’ first title since Tiefel’s older sister Ashley won singles in 2010.
“They played really well as a team and when they had openings and angles to put the ball away they did it,” Elliott said.
Steffes and Tiefel dropped just five games the entire tournament, four of which came in their first match on Saturday, and they finished the season 15-1 in doubles play. Their lone loss came at the hands of Sneed and Barnickel earlier in the season.
Only one singles player and one doubles team from Johnson County finished in the top 10 at the 5A state tournament in Arkansas City.
Taylor Westrom of Blue Valley Southwest fell to Heidi Klaassen of Arkansas City 9-0 in the seventh-place match, and Julianne Smith and Jenny Dwyer of St. James Academy lost to Valley Center’s Katie Baugess and Jill Seidl in the ninth-place doubles match.
Blue Valley Southwest was 10th as a team with 11 points and St. James tied for 11th with seven. Andover, led by singles champion Dohee Lee, won the title with 40 points.
Bishop Miege finished ninth with 11 points at the 4A tournament in Topeka. Mary Kate Rielley of Miege took fifth in singles.
Kansas City Christian senior Sara Goodwin, the two-time defending singles champion, finished third in Class 3A-1A singles in Pratt, Kan.
Goodwin lost in the semifinals to Wichita Independent freshman Anna Riedmiller 7-5, 3-6, 2-6 and then took a 6-0, 6-0 win over Conway Springs’ Heather Koesteafter for third.
Wichita Collegiate won its sixth straight team title. KC Christian finished fifth, while Maranatha was 14th.
The Wichita Eagle contributed to this report.