PRAIRIE VILLAGE Free State High's Keith Pipkin placed third at a Class 6A tennis regional and will represent the Firebirds at the state meet.
Pipkin beat Olathe South's Ross Hougland, 9-8 (9-7), in the third-place game Monday at Shawnee Mission East.
"This was a great day for Keith and for Free State tennis," FSHS coach Jon Renberger said. "Qualifying for state was a big goal for Keith, and to avenge an early season loss by beating Hougland was just huge. Keith overcame two match points in a hard-fought match against the top seed from Topeka and stayed focused and aggressive to the very end."
Free State tied for third in the team race, scoring five points. Topeka High won with 12 and was followed by Olathe East (7) and Free State and Olathe Northwest (5). Lawrence High was sixth with two points.
"Good luck to all our seniors," LHS coach Dick Wedel said. "It's always bittersweet to see the end of a season. It never ends as well as I would like it to, and the seniors leave anyway."
State will be Friday and Saturday at SM East.
Team scores: Topeka 12, Olathe East 7, Free State 5, Olathe Northwest 5, Olathe South 4, Lawrence 2, Olathe North 1, Leavenworth 0.
Keith Pipkin, Free State 3-1 (third place): Pipkin def. Jacob Gage, LHS, 9-0; Pipkin def. Brad Williams, OS, 6-3, 6-3; Scott Bond, Topeka, def. Pipkin, 6-3, 6-3; Pipkin def. Ross Hougland, OS, 9-8 (9-7).
Charles Guard, Free State 1-1: Guard def. Michael Tran, Topeka, 9-3; Hougland, OS, def. Guard, 6-0, 6-0.
Ryan Robinson, LHS, 1-1: Robinson def. Charlie Collins, ONW, 9-1; Bond, Topeka, def. Robinson, 9-0.
Gage, LHS, 0-1: Pipkin, FSHS, def. Gage, 9-0.
Zack Morgenstern-Stephen Donly, FSHS, 1-1: Morgenstern-Donly def. Adams-Heck, OS, 9-4; Giroux-Galbraith, T, def. Morgenstern-Donly, 6-2, 6-2.
Jack Hull-Drew Schelar, FSHS, 0-1: Tommy Johnson-Rahul Gogineni, LHS, def. Hull-Schelar, 9-5.
Johnson-Gogineni, LHS, 1-1: Johnson-Gogineni def. Hull-Schelar, FSHS, 9-5; Liu-Wassmer, OE, def. Johnson-Gogineni, 6-0, 6-2.
Noah Welch-Gardner Burg, LHS, 0-1: Girous-Galbraith, Topeka, def. Welch-Gardner, 9-3.