FSHS senior Keegan VanPelt claims runner-up at Sunflower League meet

photo by: Chance Parker

Free State's Keegan VanPelt returns the ball Tuesday evening as they faced off against Lawrence High School at LHS on Sept. 29, 2020. The Firebirds won the city showdown by a score of 6-3.

Free State senior Keegan VanPelt started off her final postseason with a runner-up finish at the Sunflower League meet Thursday afternoon at the Olathe District Activity Center.

VanPelt stormed through the singles bracket before falling to Olathe West’s Ashley Jacobson in the championship match by an 8-6 margin.

VanPelt, who entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, received a bye in the opening round. She then defeated Lawrence High’s Katie Logan (8-0), Olathe Northwest’s Ella Novion (8-4) and Shawnee Mission East’s Allison Wilcox (8-5) to reach the title match.

In doubles play, the Free State tandem of Maya Lee and Dayna Steadman made it to the semifinals before dropping their first match of the day. Lee and Steadman ended up securing fourth place, going 2-2 overall following their bye in the first round. The duo earned an 8-5 win over an Olathe West doubles team and an 8-3 victory over Olathe Northwest’s duo to advance to the semifinals.

It was enough to help the Firebirds finish fifth in the team standings. Jada Fowler placed 15th in the singles bracket, while Emma Evans and Olivia Evans ended up taking 21st in doubles play.

Lawrence High’s girls tennis team finished ninth in an event that was ultimately won by Shawnee Mission East. Bella Kirkwood and Ryleigh Leon led the Lions by placing 11th as a doubles team. Lilli Derby and Laura Teska notched 13th in doubles, while Katie Logan placed 13th in singles.

Both teams will compete in a regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 10. Only the top four in the singles bracket and the top four in the doubles bracket will qualify for this year’s state tournament.

Sunflower League tennis meet

Thursday at ODAC

Team standings: 1. SM East 104; 2. Olathe NW 88; 3. Olathe West 78; 4. Mill Valley 75; 5. Free State 74; 6. SM South 69; 7. Olathe East 63; 8. Gardner-Edgerton 56; 9. Lawrence 55; 10. Olathe South 50; 11. SM West 35; 12. Olathe North 32; 13. SM Northwest 24; 14. SM North 9.

FSHS results

Keegan VanPelt — 2nd place in singles

Jada Fowler — 15th place in singles

Maya Lee and Dayna Steaman — 4th place in doubles

Emma Evans and Olivia Evans — 21st place in doubles

LHS results

Katie Logan — 13th place in singles

Bella Kirkwood and Ryleigh Leon — 11th place in doubles

Lilli Derby and Laura Teska — 13th place in doubles


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