Girls Tennis and Girls Cross Country take state

Knoflicek winds up for a swing during a match.

Knoflicek winds up for a swing during a match.

One year ago, the Kansas City Christian High School Girls tennis team left their state competition with the highest finish any KCC girls tennis team had ever received: runner-up.

On October 13th and 14th of this year, they went back to state, and left with another trophy. This time though, they weren’t runner-ups: they won.

This year the team actually was pegged to win, so they were under pressure. But looming expectations didn’t phase them, the girls still had fun with it. Freshmen Keira Knoflicek and Juliet Bartels competed together as doubles partners. The athletes took third overall and enjoyed playing together.

“It was fun because I’ve done tournaments before but it’s[state] a lot more of a team thing than when you do tournaments on your own,” Knoflicek said.

Senior Aubrey Johnston and Freshman Emily Arnold also competed in the doubles bracket and got 10th overall, and Freshman Emma Sand got sixth overall in the singles tournament.

Sophomore Lilly McNeil took first overall in the singles tournament, following up her second place finish last year.

“At first it didn’t really sink in and until the team won-I didn’t realize that also won,” McNeil said.

McNeil felt relieved that she did as well as she did.

“It felt good. The pressure was kind of on me…it was a relief,” McNeil said.

Head Coach Brian Miller also enjoyed the win. He said that he knew they were going to win after Freshman Emma Sand took sixth in singles. Miller felt a mix of emotions after he knew.

“It’s hard to describe. A big relief because everyone expected us to win. Really just joy,” Miller said.

The girls hope to go back again next year and see success again.

The girls tennis team was not the only team who competed for a state title this year.

On Saturday Oct. 28, 2017 the KCC cross country team competed in state. For the past 17 years the boys cross country team has gone to state, but this was the first time since 2010 that the whole girls team made it to state.

“The girls had set their mind on going to state last year and just barely fell short as they had a year-long goal to get there” said cross country coach Lisa Cowan.

As a team the girls placed 9th out of 12 teams with a score of 194. The top runner for the girls team was freshman Alysia Wagner, she placed 19th with a personal record of 21:36.3.

This is the first time there has been more girls on the team than boys in 18 years.

“THis is the first time in the 18 years that I have been coaching that we have had more girls out for the team than boys,” Cross Country coach Lisa Cowan said.

Despite the larger size the girls felt like the team retained its close knit vibe.

“[I like] the team atmosphere, everyone knows what each other is going through so we all have a strong bond.” said junior Faith Unruh.

With a lot of girls going out for cross country and a strong bond building between them there is a possibility for more improvement for the girls in seasons to come.

“I think the momentum is growing for the cross country team again and we will continue to add runners and build on the successes that were established this season” said Cowan.