Serving up Success: Standout doubles team returns for new season, ready to defend State championship title

Chloe Breau, Photographer

Many Blue Valley athletes strive to compete at State, but going to State with one of your best friends is a whole other story — and a reality for tennis players senior Morgan Steffes and junior Alexa Tiefel.

“Playing doubles with Alexa was fun because we are pretty good friends and go to the same tennis academy outside of high school tennis,” Steffes said. “We compete in the same section all year round.”

Not only did Steffes get to play side by side with one of her closest teammates, but they shared the win as well.

“We started out a little shaky, but we killed them in the last round,” Tiefel said.

In the final match, the pair beat Shawnee Mission East competitors Aidan Epstein and Stephanie Wilcox 6-0 in the first game and 6-0 in the second game.

The tournament took place in Wichita, Kansas, at Maize South High School in the 6A division.

“We ended the season with a 15-1 record,” Steffes said. “We only lost five games in our four matches we played at State.”

Tiefel said she has high hopes for this year’s girl’s tennis team.

“This year will be different because Morgan and I will be playing singles instead of doubles,” she said.

Steffes said she will miss playing doubles with Tiefel.

“I also like the fact that I get a chance to play on my own and find out how well I compete by myself,” Steffes said.

The pair decided to split in order to grow even further as tennis players. Tiefel also said splitting up would help the team be more successful — playing as singles instead of doubles allows them to earn more wins toward the season.

“We really want more girls to qualify for State because last year it was just Morgan and me,” Tiefel said.

Both girls are hoping for more qualifiers to bring a stronger force to next year’s State tournament team.

“The entire tournament was just really exciting,” Tiefel said.

Steffes and Tiefel said they both enjoyed their time in Wichita, Kansas.

They said they look forward to the upcoming season and the hard work that lies ahead of them on the path to this year’s State Championship.

“It was a fun thing to be a part of, and getting to experience it with Alexa made it even better,” Steffes said.