Manhattan High's Jill Harkin advances to semifinals at Class 6A state tennis tournament

·2 min read

Oct. 16—Jillian Harkin is two matches away from a state championship.

Harkin, Manhattan High's star junior, won both of her matches Friday on Day 1 of the Class 6A state tournament at the Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita.

After receiving a bye in the opening round, Harkin wasted no time in her first match, not ceding a single game to Olathe Northwest's Camryn Medina in a 6-0, 6-0 rout.

Harkin started more slowly in her second match, however, as she dropped the first set, 4-6, to Shawnee Mission East's Katie Murphy. But Harkin rebounded with a vengeance, not allowing Murphy another game in capturing the final two sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Those victories set up a semifinal tilt against Olathe Northwest's Ella Novion on Saturday. Novion was the runner-up at her regional.

The winner of the Harkin/Novion match will move on to Saturday's final, facing the victor of the other semifinal: Emily Chiasson (Blue Valley Northwest) versus Bridget Epstein (Shawnee Mission East).

Harkin was the only one of Manhattan's six competing players to advance out of the first day of the event.

Junior singles player Maura Wiens and both MHS doubles pairs (Hannah Loub and Ava Bahr and Erin Craft and Jessica Zhang) tripped up in the consolation bracket.

Wiens started her day with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Emma Evans from Lawrence Free State but bounced back with a 9-6 win over Autumn Jones from Olathe West.

Wiens' season ended in her next match, falling 9-2 to Medha Goli from Blue Valley West. Wiens ended the year with an overall record of 26-11.

Bahr and Loub started their day with a win over Olathe Northwest 7-6(7-2) but ran into Shawnee Mission East's regional runner-up duo. The MHS pair lost to fall into the consolation bracket. There, the duo beat Hutchinson, 9-2, before ending the tournament with a 9-6 loss to Garden City.

The match marked the end of the seniors' careers. Bahr and Loub went 19-12 this fall.

Craft and Zhang went 0-2 in their two matches Friday. It was the first season for both players in doubles competition, and they will be back for the Indians in 2022.

Harkin's semifinal match started after Saturday's paper went to press. Check themercury.com for coverage of Harkin's bid for an individual state title.

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