SM East earns first girls tennis title in 5 years after edging Blue Valley North in 3rd tie-breaker

After the state title was decided by the narrowest of margins, champs SM East and runners up Blue Valley North posed together at the state 6A tournament. Photo credit SM East tennis via Twitter.

It took a trip to the rule book to determine a champion in this year’s state 6A girls tennis competition, but when all was said and done, SM East’s team found itself back on top for the first time since 2014.

SM East and reigning champion Blue Valley North wrapped up play in Topeka Saturday tied for first place in the teams standings. Under Kansas State High School Athletics Association rules, the first tie breaker would be the team with the most individuals earning medals (that is, among the top three). On that front, the Lancers and the Mustangs were even.

So it was on to the second tie breaker: The team with the most points earned by their medalists. Again, the teams were even on that measure.

Which meant the decision went down to the third tie-breaker: Which team had the highest percentage of games won during state tournament play. When the totals were tallied, Blue Valley’s winning percentage was 62.820%. The Lancers finished with 62.825%.

SM East’s top doubles team of Bryson Langford and Greta Stechschulte played a crucial role in the eventual victory, defeating Blue Valley’s top team in the finals 6-2, 6-4 to become state doubles champs. Teammates Quinci Cartmell and Bridget Epstein finished fourth in doubles; and Allison Wilcox took fifth in singles.

Blue Valley had taken the state 6A title every year since 2014, the last time the Lancers won. The Lancers won four state titles in a row between 2011 and 2014.