Create: 10/15/2016 - 14:22

After superb play in Pratt last weekend at the 4A Regional Girls Tennis Tournament, all "6" Wellington girls, having qualified for bigger and better things, set their sights on State 4A action in Winfield this weekend with mixed results.

The weather cooperated for the most part during the two days of action, but Friday's moderate temps and light winds gave way on Saturday to higher temps and gustier winds as GIRLS TENNIS TEAMS from across the State of Kansas converged on the TH Vaughn Tennis Center in Winfield (a very nice facility) for the sole purpose of determining eventual State Champions in both Doubles and Singles play. 

In Singles competition on Friday, Abby Lowe lost to Nihart of Winfield 5-7, (2-7) 6-2, 7-10 in a match that lasted more than 2 hours. After receiving a BYE, Abby was eliminated by Haxton of Smokey Valley 0-9.

Also in Singles competition Friday, Lexi Saffell  lost to Hammer of Winfield 0-6, 1-6 and then lost to Beswick of Abilene 6-9. Both Abby and Lexi are Juniors and will return next season so we all look forward to that!

In Doubles action Friday, Avery Rusk and Lauryn Snipes fell short 3-6, 4-6 vs Loy/Davis of Chapman. In a later match vs Fowles/Vallin of Clay Center, Lauryn and Avery would suffer their second and final loss 6-9. Avery a junior will return for more court action next season...her and Senior Snipes are about to embark on another big year in basketball.

Also in Doubles play Friday, Junior Mekenna Adams and Freshman Kylie Aufdengarten would secure the only "FRIDAY" win for the Lady Crusaders, downing Beswick/Olberding of Abilene 6-0, 6-1 after receiving a BYE for their Regional Runner-Up status the weekend prior in Pratt. In a later match on Friday, Adams and Aufdengarten were defeated by Bellah/Roets of Smokey Valley 3-6, 3-6. The 1-1 record was enough to advance the duo to Saturday action though.

In their first match on Saturday, Adams and Aufdengarten were victorious over Bruce/Myers of McPherson by the final score of 9-2. And they weren't through yet folks!!

In the subsequent match vs Parsons, after starting off 0-4, rallied and defeated Parsons 9-5. The Wellington duo would now play for 5th/6th place vs Collegiate. This final match of the day went to a tie-breaker......the Wellington ladies pulled it out, 9-8 (7-5) nailing down 5th place and the accompanying hardware!!! 

Congratulations to both Mekenna and Kylie...when Regional 4A action began last weekend across the State, there were 80 doubles teams in competition. Today, in Winfield, Mekenna Adams and Kylie Aufdengarten bettered 75 of those teams by State 4A Tourneys' end. Congratulations ladies and congrats to Mekenna - a junior, Mekenna has qualified for State all "3" years of high school and has medaled all "3" years as well.  Congratulations ladies - you and Kylie will both be back next year - as will most of this year's State Tournament team - it's only going to get better!!  GO BIG RED!!

Coach Aufdengarten reflects on the tournament and season...

Season came to an end this weekend which had Wellington take all 6 players to state for the first time since 2010.

After finishing 12th last season as a team, we wanted to get in the top 10 this year, and we finished 9th.  

Singles player Lexi Saffell started out the day playing Sarah Hammer from Winfield who finished 12th at state last year, and lost 6-0,6-1.  Then Saffell played Kaylin Beswick from Abilene.  The match was close throughout with Saffell being down one game throughout the match.  Saffell was down 6-7, and had about two or three add points to tie the match up but Beswick held on from that point to win the match 9-6.  Lexi played well, it was a goal of hers to make the varsity team and make it to state, she accomplished both, and was close to winning a match at state.  Saffell finishes the year with an overall record of 19-12.

Singles player Abby Lowe also started out the day with a Winfield player in Megan Nihart.  The match was a long match with it going back and forth, but Lowe came up a little short losing 6-7(2-7),6-2,7-10.  Then Lowe actually got a second round bye because regional winner Sayka Smith didn't show up to the state meet.  This put Lowe in a match to qualify for day 2 and to medal against Haxton from Smoky Valley.  Haxton proved that she was a two time state qualifier though winning the match 9-0.  Abby has improved a bunch since last year and played one singles all year.  Last year she ended the season 15-15, and this year she finished 24-10.

Doubles team of Lauryn Snipes and Avery Rusk opened their day with Loy/Davis from Chapman.  The Wellington pair could never get any momentum and made errors they haven't made lately keeping the ball in play.  Chapman won the match 6-3,6-4.  In their next match they faced a regional winner Fowles/Vallin from Clay Center.  The Wellington pair came out much better and led the match 6-5, but then gave up 4 straight games, losing 9-6.  These two had a heck of a year, didn't end the way we thought, but so proud of them.  One of their highlights came at league last week winning the league title.  

Doubles team of Mekenna Adams and Kylie Aufdengarten had a nice run in the state tournament this weekend.  The pair had a first round bye and in their first match faced Beswick/Olberding of Abilene.  Wellington disposed of the team quickly winning 6-0,6-1, in front of a huge Wellington crowd.  Wow there was so many Wellington fans during that match, you knew every time our girls hit a winner because of the amount of people there.  This put Adams and Aufdengarten in the quarterfinals against Bellah/Roets from Smoky Valley.  The match started and the Smoky Valley team made up of two seniors dominated the net and was very aggressive.  Wellington would battle but came up short in both sets 6-3,6-3.  Day 2 started with Wellington paired against Bruce/Myers from McPherson whom Wellington beat earlier in the season.  Wellington jumped out to a 4-1 lead and never looked back winning the match 9-3.  This then paired Wellington up with Beardmore/Rogers from Parsons.  Parsons looked really good on day 1, and Parsons came out well against Wellington jumping up 4-1.  Adams and Aufdengarten then relaxed and started taking care of a few adjustments and took a 5-4 lead.  The Wellington pair then had confidence and momentum, and won 9-5.  This pitted them in the 5th/6th place match against Cody/Geoffroy from Collegiate who beat the Wellington girls 6-2,6-0 the week before.  Wellington fell behind again 4-1, then caught up and tied it at 4-4.  Collegiate then jumped up 7-4, then 8-5. We talked at the changeover to just compete don't give in and pretty soon the girls won the next 3 games to send the match to a tiebreak.  Collegiate jumped up 2-0, then Wellington won 3, to make it 3-2.  Wellington had a 5-3 lead and then gave up 2 points to tie it at 5-5.  Adams then ripped a shot down the line on a poaching Collegiate player to tie at 6-6, then Wellington won the next two points winning the match.  Oh wow that was exciting, the crowd was so loud on our winning shots we had a lot of people watching the match and rooting for us.  

Adams has now been a three time state medalist, and she was the only freshman to medal in Wellington history.  She hasn't had the luxury of playing with the same partner every year either, but finally will next year.
Freshman year -9th
Sophomore year -7th
Junior year - 5th

Adams and Aufdengarten end the season at 27-11.

Very happy and emotional weekend for us and very proud of our team this season, a great group of girls.  Excited about next season already.


About Author

Steve Sturgis's picture
Steve Sturgis
Steve graduated from Wellington High School in 1974 and then Wichita State University (with honors) in 1979 with a B.S. Degree in Administration of Justice; his minor was in Sociology. Steve has held several positions ranging from Juvenile Court Service Officer, to District Manager in Circulation at the Wichita Eagle, Q.A. Planner at Boeing, Caregiver, Psychiatric Technician, Limo Driver, Ranch Hand, Photographer, Webmaster and Website Developer and a die hard Crusader Fan since the early 1960's. Contact the ole boy at or on Facebook or at any Crusader and/or Knight event year-round.