Wellington tennis duo taking it one step at a time with their sights on reaching the state tournament

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Lyric Cornejo (left) and Jensen Lynnes (right) at the Goddard Tennis Tournament

After missing the 4A State Tournament last year, Wellington's top duo Jensen Lynnes and Lyric Cornejo were eager to begin the new season. 

The duo got things rolling in their first invitational of the season. Wellington's No. 1 doubles team got off to a great start as they took five matches and first place at Pratt.

"Missing state last year lit a fire in our minds coming into this season," said Jensen Lynnes. "It was heartbreaking coming off the court after a loss but it only made us more focused and dedicated for this year."

Jensen and Cornejo took lessons throughout the summer. The two worked on their weaknesses, then they wanted to work on their mentality throughout their matches.

"We got to know each other's strengths and weaknesses, then we figured out how to improve to be our best," said Lyric Cornejo. "We also want to keep each other’s spirits up during our matches. We’ve really learned how to shake off our mistakes and focus on the current point."

There have been times where the duo had to forget their mistakes and focus on the present. 

Wellington tennis at Girls Varsity Invitational in Collegiate

After dominating the events in Goddard and El Dorado, the duo went to Collegiate and lost their first match of the season in the championship match, but claimed second place. 

Then, the duo headed to Kingman and lost one of their matches, which would set them up for a third-place match against Valley Center. Instead of worrying about the loss, the pair dominated the Valley Center duo and claimed points for Wellington heading into Regionals.

On the season, the Crusaders duo has secured two first-place finishes, a second-place finish, and a third-place finish. Jensen and Cornejo are 18-4 as a duo. 

More:Wellington tennis shows their dominance with three first places finishes in El Dorado

Now, on Monday, Oct. 4, the pair will be going back to Collegiate for the AVCTL Tournament this season, but they won't be playing together. 

Wellington is in such a good spot for regionals that the duo doesn't want to risk their chances on their seeding position. Jensen will be pairing with Kadynce Aufdengarten at the tournament. 

Jensen and Cornejo will be back for regionals on Saturday, Oct. 9. 

"I'm so excited for regionals and to give it my all," said Jensen. "It would be awesome if we could pull off the gold medal at regionals heading into the state tournament."

Wellington tennis at Girls Varsity Invitational in Collegiate

The top-6 duos from each region will make it to state. Last year, the Wellington duo did make the top-6, but due to COVID-19, it was a season that the top-4 from each region would qualify for state.

More:Wellington's Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten shutout the competition at Kingman

It's been a great season for the Wellington duo, but even though they have their eyes set on making it to state, they understand they have to take it one step at a time. 

"We really just want to play well," said Cornejo. "It's obvious that our goal is to make it to state, but we just want to win at regionals first."

The 4A Regional begins at 9 a.m. in El Dorado with Augusta, Chapman, El Dorado, Towanda, Wellington, Trinity, and Winfield participating. 

The AVCTL will begin at 10 a.m. with Andale, Collegiate, Wellington, Rose Hill, Clearwater, and Mulvane participating on Monday. 

Greg Williams has been the reporter for the Wellington Daily News and Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at GWilliams@gannett.com or on Twitter at @GregWilliams28.