No Bishop Carroll player will go home with an individual championship Saturday night, but that doesn’t matter.
The Golden Eagles captured their school’s first state championship of the 2018-19 school year, snagging the 5A team title from reigning champion St. James Academy and City League rival Kapaun. None and all were champions.
Senior Brittany Steven finished runner-up to Kapaun sophomore Clara Whitaker for the second straight year, losing 6-1, 6-0.
Senior Brayden Steven came in fourth, losing to Kapaun freshman Reagan Boleski in the third-place match 6-3, 6-1.
And senior Lauren Steven/sophomore Paige Stranghoner were a match short of a state title after being paired midseason, falling to Arkansas City’s Kelsie Burr/Jacey Arnett in the state final.
No one was too down after the tournament wrapped up though.
“Just looking at our chances coming in, we were like,’Yeah, we could win individually, but we have so many seniors, and the chance of us all winning individually is not going to happen,’ ” Lauren Steven said. “We realized the best way for us to all share this joy was to go for a team win.”
Last year, Carroll was runner-up in the team standings to St. James Academy. The Golden Eagles were four points short. Steven said the the Golden Eagles knew they had to rely on their depth rather than trying to win individual titles.
That came to a head at their regional tournament.
In what turned out to be the deepest regional in Kansas, Carroll qualified all six potential players, including its second doubles team of sophomore Vanessa Steven/senior Lauren Esfeld. Coach Darren Huslig, who won his first team title in six tries, said that was the difference.
“The teams that have been able to win at state have been the teams that have gotten the most people there,” he said. “You can do well in one thing, but you got to have all the people representing.”