Photo by Theo Tate
Granite City seniors Bailee Warsing (left) and Mikayla Kingsley won a first-round match against Waterloo’s Jordyn Groves and Sophie Netemeyer at the Belleville West Sectional on Oct. 16.
A year ago, the Granite City Warriors girls’ tennis team didn’t get any victories in the sectional tournament.
When the Warriors played in the Belleville West Sectional on Oct. 16, seniors Bailee Warsing and Mikayla Kingsley made sure their team wasn’t going back to Granite City empty-handed.
Warsing and Kingsley defeated Waterloo’s Jordyn Groves and Sophie Netemeyer 6-1, 6-0 in a first-round doubles match for the Warriors’ only victory at sectionals.
“It was really exciting because coming in, we were nervous because it’s sectionals and it was our last tennis match of the year,” Warsing said. “But we worked really hard and I’m really glad we got a win on that.”
The Warriors’ tennis season officially came to an end when Warsing and Kingsley lost to Belleville East’s Kaycie Dresch and Morgan Smith 6-1, 6-0 in the second round. Dresch and Smith went on to finish fourth to earn a state tournament berth.
The loss also ended the high school tennis careers of Warsing and Kingsley. Warsing played all four years with the Granite City girls’ tennis team; three of them were in varsity. Kingsley played for the Warriors for two years.
“I’m very sad,” Kingsley said. “It wasn’t long enough for me.”
Two other Granite City seniors — Dani Magana and Kayla Myers — also ended their high school tennis careers at sectionals. They lost to Waterloo’s Maddie Naumann and Megan Molinari 6-1, 6-4 in a first-round doubles match.
Magana played all four years with Granite City.
“It’s been good,” Magana said. “I like tennis even more. I’d really like to play tennis in college. When I first started it, I didn’t know how to do it. Now as I got older, I started liking it more and more because I know how to play.”
Myers joined the squad in her junior year.
“I started it in gym when (GCHS physical education teacher Raffi) Karibian actually told (Granite City girls’ tennis coach Linda) Ames that you need this player and she seems to have some potential,” Myers said. “At first, I didn’t have any clue of what I was doing and I felt kind of dumb, but I picked it up pretty easily and I’m glad that I did (play tennis).”
Next year, the Warriors will return two players from their starting lineup — sophomores Kourtney Singleton and Maya Ware. Both players lost their first-round sectional singles matches.
“I think they’re going to have a really good team coming up for next year and I’ll be happy to see how they do,” Warsing said.
Warsing, who was the Warriors’ No. 1 singles player this year, said Ames has been helpful to the team all year.
“I’d like to thank Mrs. Ames for everything,” Warsing said. “She worked so hard and I know she dedicates so much of her time helping our team making us better players. She’s just a great coach.”
Last year, Granite City played in the Edwardsville Sectional but didn’t get any victories. The Warriors finished 10th with zero points.
This year, GCHS had to play in the Belleville West Sectional, which included Southwestern Conference opponents Belleville West, Belleville East, O’Fallon and Collinsville. Belleville Althoff, Waterloo, Mascoutah, Triad and Gibault rounded out the field.
East edged West and Althoff by 1 point to win sectionals. Granite City finished 9th out of 10 teams with 2 points.
“It’s very tough because you play some of the best teams in the area,” said Warsing, who earned all-Southwestern Conference honors in singles last year.
Warsing and Magana played in sectionals for the second straight year. Kingsley and Myers made their first sectional tournament appearances.
Warsing and Kingsley, who were the Warriors’ No. 1 doubles team this season, had never faced Groves and Netemeyer of Waterloo before sectionals.
“They’re really nice players and I’m really glad to play them as one of our last matches,” Warsing said. “It was a really good experience. Both teams played really hard and I’m glad that we won.”