By Mark Schnabel
Newton Kansan

HESSTON — The Hesston High School girls’ tennis team will look to three returning state medalists to try and keep the Swathers on top of the state leaderboard again this season.

Travis Sebits returns for his eighth season with the Swathers, assisted by Amilia Fabrizius.

Hesston tied for first in the Central Kansas League last season with Smoky Valley, took second at regionals and took second in Class 3-2-1A state.

The Swathers are led by junior Michaela Martin, the defending 3-2-1A state doubles champ. Her partner last season — and sister Kylie Martin — graduated. The two were 26-4 last season. The two also won first doubles at CKL.

Senior Halle Krehbiel placed fourth at state last season, finishing 25-8. She also placed second in the CKL at first singles.

Senior Makenzie Unruh was ninth at state doubles last season at 26-11 with partner Ashley Hubbard, also graduated. She was second in second doubles in the CKL with senior Alexia Bowles.

Other returning letterwinners include Bowles, junior Megan Martin and junior Lyndle Dotzweiler.

Other varsity contenders are sophomores Maggie Carlson and Gracie Dawes. A top newcomer is freshman Cassie Albin.

“We should have a good mix of experience and youth on our tennis team,” Sebits said. “Halle, Makenzie and Alexia should provide great leadership for our younger players to come along.

Sebits again looks at Smoky Valley to challenge for the CKL title this season.

Top non-league foes include Conway Springs, Wichita Collegiate and McPherson.

Conway Springs was third at Class 3-2-1A state last season, five points behind Hesston. Collegiate is the defending Class 4A champion. McPherson was eighth in Class 5A last season.