Wellington wins first regional title since 2010 and has 5 players qualify for 4A State Tournament

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News

It was a record-setting day as temperatures reached a new high throughout south-central Kansas, but that didn't affect Wellington as they were already heating up heading into the 4A Regional Tournament.

The Crusaders positioned themselves so well that none of the Wellington entries were seeded lower than eighth in their bracket. 

Wellington took advantage of the great seeding and earned themselves their first regional championship since 2010. 

The Crusaders finished with 17 points, but it took a team effort to stay in front of second-place Circle and third place Wichita Trinity.

Wellington's top duo earned their Crusaders the most points. Jensen Lynnes and Lyric Cornejo received the No. 2 and the first-round bye before they defeated Augusta 6-0 in both sets. 

In the second round, Lynnes and Cornejo defeated Circle and reserved a spot in the final match. The pair couldn't defeat the Wichita Trinity duo, but they secured a second-place finish.

In the singles tournament, Wellington's Kami Reichenberger received the No. 3 seed after a great performance at the AVCTL tournament. 

Reichenberger didn't receive the first-round bye, but she dominated her first match in two sets against Maddie Davis from Wichita Trinity. She also defeated another Wichita Trinity singles player in the next round in two sets. 

In the semifinals, Reichenberger lost to Circle's exchange student, Alejandra Gaiton. Reichenberher wasn't finished as she defeated Winfield's Mekenna Roark for third place. 

Wellington's second duo also cashed in another solid performance. Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten received the No. 4 seed and they won their first set against the El Dorado duo. 

The Wellington pair would take on the No. 5 seeded Winfield duo in an exciting three-set match. Gerten and Aufdengarten advanced to the next round, but they lost to the No. 1 seed Wichita Trinity duo. 

In their final match, the Wellington pair were up and down. Wellington got down early losing the first set 6-3 to Circle, however, Wellington took control of the match-winning 6-0 and 6-1 the final two sets. This placed the Wellington duo in third place.

Wellington's Crystal Ramirez was the No. 7 seed and had a remarkable opening match against El Dorado's single. It was a marathon type of match between the two and Ramirez showed her heart. She ended up pulling ahead and advancing to the next round. 

The downfall of playing that type of match is losing all that energy, and that's what happened for Wellington's singles player. Ramirez was tough in her first set against Wichita Trinity's Madeline Lancelot, but she couldn't keep up in her second set and lost the match.

Ramirez's season ends there as she just missed out on qualifying for the state meet. 

Wellington qualifies five of their girls and three entries for State. The last time the Crusaders had five players qualify for state was in 2017 when they were runner-ups to Collegiate in the regionals. 

This will be Lynnes's second time qualifying for state in three years, while Reichenberger, Cornejo, Gerten, and Aufdengarten qualified for the first time. 

Reichenberger heads into State with a 14-11 singles record (18-12 overall), Lynnes/Cornejo heads into State with a 21-6 together. (Lynnes is 26-9, Cornejo is 23-7), and Gerten/Aufdengarten head into State with a 24-7 record together (Both are 25-9 overall).

The State Meet will take place at Winfield-T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center on 1500 Mound Street in Winfield next Friday and Saturday. Times will be announced later. 

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.