By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Fort Hays State head tennis coach Brian Flax has announced the signing of a trio of future Tigers in advance of the 2020-21 season. The Tiger Tennis class of 2021 includes Gracen Friess, Heidi Lubbers and Hope Lubbers.
Gracen Friess heads to Hays after a decorated high school career at Parsons (Kan.) High School. Friess is a three-time Class 4A state qualifier in singles action, including a pair of state placements. She won the Southeastern Kansas League title as a junior and senior while also winning the regional title both years. Friess placed 12th at state as a sophomore in 2018 before finishing 11th as a junior in 2019. A four-time letterwinner, she compiled a singles record of 79-17 over her last three years of high school, including a 25-5 mark as a senior in 2020, a 28-7 record as a junior in 2019 and a 26-5 record as a sophomore in 2018. Friess also qualified for the state championships in track and field, doing so in the hurdles races in addition to multiple relay races.
Heidi and Hope Lubbers signed with the Tigers after impressive careers at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita. The pair medaled at the Class 5A State Championships twice, finishing as the state runner-up in 2020 after placing fourth in 2019. Their run to the state title match in 2020 helped the Golden Eagles win the 5A state championship as a team.
Each a four-time letterwinner in tennis, the sisters compiled a record of 58-25 in doubles action over their last three seasons at BCCHS, including a record of 22-9 as seniors in 2020 and a mark of 23-10 as juniors in 2019. They are both two-time selections on the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association All-State Tennis team, earning the honor in 2019 and 2020. They were also named to the 2020 Wichita Eagle All-Metro team. The pair also excelled in the classroom, with each earning a spot on the Academic All-State team all four years. Heidi and Hope are the younger sisters of Natalie and Nicole Lubbers, who played for the Tigers from 2016-20.