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Area tennis teams see season’s start
April 10, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Gering senior Savannah Walker completes a return volley during Tuesday’s triangular with Scottsbluff and Alliance at Gering. Walker won her singles match against Alliance and saw a 9-7 win in her doubles match with partner Samantha Gutherless.

It was supposed to be a triangular junior varsity event with Gering, Scottsbluff and Alliance. But inclement weather made it impossible for Alliance to make the trip, so the event turned into a dual match with Gering at Scottsbluff on April 1.

The Scottsbluff junior varsity came away with a 7 – 6 win in that dual. “The girls that played singles did very well,” said Scottsbluff head coach Cassie Behnke. “But we only had one win with the doubles.”

Gering tennis coach Justin Reinmuth said a lot of his JV players are freshmen, so it was good experience for their first match of the year. “It was their first look at real competition. Scottsbluff has a big squad this year, so we had a lot of people playing two or three different ways.”

He added that Annessa Escamilla and Allie Wilson did very well in their doubles match. Annessa also played in another doubles team and both matches went to a tiebreaker. And in singles action, Zoee Knaub went 3-0 on the evening.

“We were pretty close competitively,” Reinmuth said. ‘This was our first JV meet of the year and we’ll have another on Saturday in Ogallala.”

He said that with three seniors graduating this year, he’ll be looking to see which JV players can move up to varsity as he continues to build the program.

Last Saturday, the Scottsbluff varsity squad was in North Platte for an invitational with 10 teams in pool play. Kearney won the invite and Grand Island placed second. Scottsbluff placed sixth.

Sophomore Zoe Holcher turned a strong performance at North Platte. “Zoe placed third in No. 1 singles,” Behnke said. “Her third place match was an 8-3 win over Hannah Ostrom of Lexington.”

In No. 2 singles, Scottsbluff’s sophomore Christina Villarreal placed seventh with an 8-4 win over Caitlyn Tritle of Alliance. Her record now stands at 2-3.

In the doubles matches, the No. 1 team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli placed ninth with an 8-5 win over Cayla Tritle and Bailey O’Connor of Alliance.

In No. 2 doubles, Scottsbluff’s Rachel Madden and Makayla Castro also placed ninth with a 8-6 win over Maddie Herman and Enya Svoboda of Ogallala.

Behnke said many of the schools that competed at North Platte are also members of the GNAC conference. “We looked at this as a pre-GNAC tournament. Our kids beat several players from other schools, so we should have some success with the tournament comes around in May.”

Tuesday was a triangular event, as Gering hosted Scottsbluff and Alliance. Gering topped all of their Alliance opponents. Katie Collins, Marlee Lupher, Carolyn Howton, Savannah Walker, Samantha Gutherless and Kaitlyn Wagoner all won their singles matches.

In doubles action, Savannah Walker and Samantha Gutherless were 9-7 winners. Marlee Lupher and Carolyn Howton posted an 8-4 win, and the team of Katie Collins and Kaitlyn Wagoner were 8-1 winners.

In singles action against Scottsbluff, Katie Collins took an 8-0 loss to Zoe Holscher and Kaitlyn Wagoner lost 8-3 to Christina Villarreal. Gering girls winning their singles matches were Marlee Lupher, 8-1 over Stacea Pauli, Carolyn Howton, 8-3 over Rachel Madden, Samantha Gutherless, 8-6 over Sarah Cloud and Savannah Walker, 8-5 over Makayla Castro.

Gering won two of their three doubles matches against Scottsbluff. Savannah Walker and Samantha Gutherless took an 8-5 win over Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli. Marlee Lupher and Carolyn Howton were 8-5 winners over Rachel Madden and Makayla Castro. Gering’s Katie Collins and Kaitlyn Wagoner lost their doubles match 8-3 to Christina Villarreal and Zoe Holcher.
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