Railer netters win second-straight tournament

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton High School tennis player Max Musser competes in doubles play during the Hesston Invitational Tuesday. The Railers tied for first in the 13-team tournament.
Newton High School tennis player Zeke Thompson competes in doubles play during the Hesston Invitational II in Hesston.
Hesston High School tennis player Micah Dahlsten competes in doubles play during the Hesston Invitational II Tuesday. Dahlsten and partner Cole Deutschendorf won the doubles title. Hesston finished third out of 13 teams.
Hesston tennis player Cole Deutschendorf competes in doubles play Tuesday at the Hesston Invitational II.
Newton High School tennis player Jonah Schloneger competes Tuesday in the Hesston Invitational II.
Newton High School tennis player Justin Franz competes in doubles play Tuesday at the Hesston Invitational II.

HESSTON — The Newton High School boys’ tennis team made it two titles in a row Tuesday, tying for first at the Hesston Invitational II.

Three days earlier, Newton won the Valley Center Invitational.

Newton and McPherson tied for the team title. Host Hesston finished third out of 13 schools.

Complete scores and standings were not released.

“It’s been about five years,” Newton coach Nick Sisson said of the back-to-back titles. “We were winning a lot back then. Then we went into a rebuilding phase. We would have had a strong season last year, but COVID interrupted that season. I’m really proud of the boys today. They put in a lot of effort and they all executed when they needed to. Everyone came through.”

All four Newton entries faced each other in the medal round. The doubles team of Zeke Thompson and Max Musser faced Jonah Schloneger and Justin Franz in the third-place match.

Otis Musser played Sam Classen for seventh place.

Newton goes to the AV-CTL I meet Monday at Maize South, followed by regionals May 8 at Valley Center.

“We need to to back and do some more work,” Sisson said. “Our league and regional have two or three of the top teams in 5A. We’re currently rated sixth ourselves.”

Hesston was led by the team of Cole Deutschendorf and Micah Dahlsten, who won the doubles title — beating Schloneger and Franz in the semifinals and Brennan Gipson, and Conner Glazner of McPherson in the finals.

“That might have been our best matches of the year, especially those last four matches,” Deutschendorf said. “Those last two teams were really good teams. Mac has a really good team and Newton has a really good team. We were pretty much on top of our game. After that first stretch of that first McPherson game, we kind of turned it up.”

“Our energy was really good today,” Micah Dahlsten said. “Part of that was there were a lot of people out here.”

Hesston has one more meet before league and regionals — both in Hesston.

“We’re pretty busy right now,” Deutschendorf said. “It’s good that we’re facing a lot of competition right now that it really matters. Going into regionals, you want to be on top of your game.”

“Keeping those unforced errors down is key to our game,” Micah Dahlsten said.

“In this tournament, (third place) is really good,” Hesston coach Mark Dahlsten said. “All of them had good moments today. I kind of challenged them after the (Wichita Collegiate) Tournament of Champions on Saturday. That was a tough tournament, but I felt like we left some points on the board. They responded really well. … Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time.”

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com