Solid outing for an all-new GCHS team
If there was ever a time when a coach had no idea what to expect from his team in their first competition of the season after a two-year hiatus, one could make the case for Garden City Buffaloes’ boys tennis coach Logan Bevis.
With an all-new varsity lineup for the start of the 2021 season, Bevis’ squad traveled to Great Bend for the opening invitational tournament of the year. The 125-mile drive home was celebratory after the Buffs captured the team title, out-pointing rival Dodge City, 62-51.
“It was great to see the guys playing tennis again after such a long break,” Bevis said afterward. “It was a beautiful day for tennis (translation – not much wind) and the guys played hard today.”
The Buffs managed just one title, that coming in No. 2 singles with sophomore Colin Kleysteuber going unbeaten for the day. The key, though, was that the remaining three divisions – No. 1 singles (Logan Morren), No. 1 doubles (Charles Stillian/Abraham Hernandez) and No. 2 doubles (John Tran/Joshua Negron) all placed second. That provided enough points to separate the Buffs from the Red Demons for the team crown.
“The singles guys played in some tough, long matches, especially Logan at the No. 1 spot,” Bevis said. “He made an incredible comeback in the semifinals (down 2-5 in a tiebreaker) to win the match and make it to the finals.”
Bevis also said Kleysteuber played superbly throughout the day’s matches, going 3-0 in pool play before winning against Liberal and Dodge City in the cross-play by identical scores of 8-4. His victim in the finals was Dodge City’s Chris Velez.
“Colin did a great job of staying consistent throughout the day and responded well to some early deficits in both of his matches against a tricky opponent from Dodge,” Bevis said.
Morren posted a 2-1 pool play mark, then defeated Hays’ Evan Foltz in that dramatic tiebreaker comeback, 8-7 (5) before falling to Dodge City’s Erik Martinez in the finals for the second time in the tournament.
The No. 1 doubles team of Stillian and Hernandez had posted a 3-0 mark in pool play, defeating teams from Dodge City (8-2), Scott City (8-4) and Great Bend Black (8-2). In Cross Play, the defeated Liberal 8-3 before dropping a tough 8-5 match to Ellinwood’s Nathan Ringwald and Giovanni Battistoni.
The No. 2 team of Tran and Negron went 2-0 in their pool play, toppling Scott City in a tough and long match, 8-7 (5) and then outlasting Dodge City 8-6. In cross play, they defeated Great Bend’s Red team 8-5 and then fell to Hoisington’s Hunter Morris and Ryan Woydziak in an 8-6 lengthy test.
“Both doubles teams had ups and downs through the day but managed to get to the finals,” Bevis said. “They made visible improvements throughout the day and I was glad to see them practicing the different strategies we’ve worked on in practice, working their way towards playing fundamentally solid doubles.”
Great Bend Invitational
- Garden City, 62; 2. Dodge City, 51; 3. Hoisington, 42; 4. Ellinwood, 41; 5. Liberal, 30; 6. Great Bend Red, 27; 7. Scott City, 18; 8. Great Bend Black, 0.
Garden City Individual Results
No. 1 Singles—2. Logan Morren: 3-2. Lost in finals to Dodge City’s Erik Martinez, 8-0.
No. 2 Singles—1. Colin Kleysteuber: 5-0. Defeated Dodge City’s Chris Velez 8-4 in finals.
No. 1 Doubles—2. Charles Stillian/Abraham Hernandez: 4-1. Lost to Ellinwood’s Nathan Ringwald/Giovanni Battistoni, 8-5, in finals.
No. 2 Doubles—2. John Tran/Joshua Negron: 3-1. Lost to Hoisington’s Hunter Morris/Ryan Woydziak in finals, 8-6.