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SPOTLIGHT
Hays High tennis wins own invitational

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Hays High tennis wins own invitational

Published on -8/31/2012, 10:33 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High school freshman tennis player Brooke Forinash had never played competitively prior to this year.

Forinash said the most she'd done was play with her dad from time to time and take tennis lessons from Hays High head coach Brett Jensen.

Through the early part of the season, Forinash looks like she's been playing competitively for years. Playing in the No. 2 singles slot, Forinash is 8-1 through her first two tournaments and is the only Indian to have two first-place finishes.

"She's an athletic kid," Jensen said. "She works harder than anybody I know. This summer, she put in a lot of time on the courts. It's showing today. She's getting better every single day."

Forinash went undefeated in No. 2 singles on Thursday at the Hays High Invitational and picked up one of Hays High's three first-place finishes at the meet.

With little previous experience, Forinash didn't have an extensive resume to point to when contending for a varsity position. She had to let her play speak for her, and it worked.

"When it came to that week of practice, I just made sure I tried my absolute hardest," Forinash said.

Jensen said her skills and potential was obvious.

"You can tell just from the way kids move on the court how they are going to be," Jensen said. "She's a kid that has pretty good footwork. She's got the natural strokes and no bad habits to start off with, which is nice."

At the Hays High Invitational, singles were played at the city tennis courts, while doubles were played at the Hays High Tennis Courts.

T-he Indians had three first-place finishes and one second-place finish, as they breezed to the team title.

In doubles, seniors Janae Gagnon and Megan Bird went 4-0 to win No. 1 doubles, while junior Kelsee DeBoer and freshman Taylor DeBoer finished first in No. 2 doubles, going 4-0.

Senior Shelby Dinkel was the only Indians to not win a division, going 3-1 and finishing second in No. 1 singles.

However, she faced Norton senior Tawni Griffey, the 2010 Class 3-2-1A state singles champion and 2011 3-2-1A state singles runner-up.

"I think I played pretty well," Griffey said. "It was the first tournament of the season so I was excited."

Griffey went 4-0 and didn't lose a game in any of her matches.

"When you are playing a state champion, they are the best out there," Jensen said. "Shelby played probably the best match I've ever seen her play, and she still lost 6-0. That speaks highly of the girl from Norton."

Norton finished second as a team.

Norton also had two other top-three finishes. Sierra Black was second in No. 2 singles, and Molly Scott and Jessica White were second in No. 2 doubles.

Russell had three top-three finishes.

In No. 1 doubles, Abby Dreher and Brooklyn Sidebottom finished second, and Rhett Brown and Hayle Mader were third in No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively.

Colby's doubles teams each finished third. Rickele Green and Ashley Hildebrand played No. 1 doubles, and Madison Rogers and Alexa Schindler played No. 2 doubles.

Hays High's varsity will compete next at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Great Bend Invitational.

Last year at Great Bend, the Indians finished third as a team. Jensen described it as one of the worst tournaments of the year and said he doesn't want a repeat performance.

"I think we went in over confident," he said. "Last year, we started out very similar to how we started out this year. ... Then we went in there with our heads a little too high."

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