The Abilene tennis team tied the defending Class 4A state champions of Smoky Valley for second place each scoring 43 points, but it was the Vikings that handed Abilene their only losses to the No. 1 teams.
Matthew Barlow placed second losing to defending state singles champion Quinn Dippel, 8-2. Barlow, 16-2, has lost only to Dippel this year.
The Cowboy’s No. 2 doubles team of Connor Kijowski and Kaynan Anderson placed third. They lost to Kelly Pihl and Teddy Smith of Smoky Valley in the semifinal 8-0 but rebounded with an 8-2 win over Barley Edison and Trent Bigler of Salina Central for third place.
“Overall the boys competed well,” Stredney said.
Barlow, who was seeded third, defeated Briton Hawk of Smoky Valley 8-0 and Jake Seaton of Manhattan 8-1. He then won 8-2 over Keaton Hallowell, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, to face Dippel in the championship.
“Matthew had a great tournament,” he added. “He had a huge win over Hallowell of Manhattan. Even though he lost to Dippel, he competed very well. He is getting better every week.”
Kijowski and Anderson, were seeded No. 1. They won over Seth Allen and Ethan McCary of Salina South 8-6 and defeated Hunter Wilkens and Blake McClug of Hays 8-7 (7-4). That advanced them to the semifinals and a loss to eventual doubles champions Pihl and Smith.
“The one doubles team had a nice comeback win against Hays,” Stredney said. “Connor and Kaynan never got into the match against Smoky Valley. They played welled against Salina Central and finished the day 3-1.”
That improved their record to 15-3.
The Salina South format lumped all the teams into one 16-person bracket, thus not separating the No. 1’s and the No. 2’s.
Abilene’s Billy Yeager lost to Steven Wegner of Andover, 8-1. Wegner was the No. 4 seed. He lost to Noah Grant 8-4.
Gabe Johnson, playing for the Salina South team, lost to Alex Main of Salina South 8-0 and to Bayron Rivera of Hays 8-1.
Ben Weissenbach and Trey Jackson of Abilene lost to Ben Blizzard and Aditya Kulkarni of Andover 8-4. They beat Alex Schneider and Ethan Crowther of Smoky Valley 8-3 and won over Riley Ratfliff and Dustin Hayes of Manhattan 8-2. They finished 10th losing to Miller and Wilson of Andover.
The Cowboys travel to Junction City on Saturday.