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Cats’ Holscher leads tennis charge
May 27, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Although they didn’t make it to the second day, the Scottsbluff girls’ tennis team did themselves proud on May 19, getting five wins on the opening day of the Class B state tournament in Lincoln.

“I think all six of the girls competed at a really high level and they all worked really hard,” said Coach Cassie Behnke. “The score doesn’t necessarily reflect how tough the matches were.”

No. 1 Zoe Holscher and No. 2 Christina Villarreal, both strong at the singles position for the entire season, made it as far as the quarterfinal round.

Competing in her fourth state tournament, Holscher recorded wins in her first and second rounds, bring her career at state to eight wins.

In the quarterfinal round, Holscher faced No. 3 tournament seed Sadie Goering of Grand Island Central Catholic, who came away with a 6-2, 6-1 win.

Holscher ends her season with a 28-7 record. This fall, she will be on the court for the Northwestern College Raiders in Orange City, Iowa.

Villarreal at No. 2 singles also turned in solid performances.
After beating Rachel Hahn of Omaha Skutt and Jenna Mu of Brownell-Talbot/Concordia, her quarterfinal match was against No. 2 seed Alyssa Calfee of Lincoln Christian, who pulled out the 6-3, 6-3 win.

Villarreal, who ended the season with a 23-7 record, will play tennis at Midland University in Fremont this fall.

Scottsbluff’s other win in the state tournament came from the No. 1 doubles team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli as they went 6-3, 6-0 over Omaha Gross.

Scottsbluff then faced the No. 4 seeded doubles team Zoie Allen and Hannah Ostrom of Lexington. It was a hard-fought match for both teams, but Lexington was a 6-1, 6-1 victor.

Scottsbluff’s No. 2 doubles team of Moriah Wyre and Alisha Huynh also faced off against Lexington, losing 6-2, 6-0 to Jordan Hagan and Danielle Lindeman.

“I also have to give a ton of credit to seniors Stacea Pauli and Sarah Cloud, in their second match of the day against Lexington in the tournament,” Behnke said. “Both the girls played some excellent tennis. They went to deuce multiple times every game and that really showed their competiveness.”

Behnke added that both Pauli and Cloud have the skills to play at the college level, but chose not to pursue that path.

She also had nothing but praise for the No. 2 team of Wyre and Huynh, both juniors. “Those two are great girls and they wanted to win that match. Their minds were in the right place, but made more errors than their opponents. Nerves might have gotten to them.”

Wyre and Huynh got compliments not only from Behnke, but also from Lexington’s coach, who was impressed with their play.

“We have six or seven juniors on the team who will return next year,” Behnke said. “Three of them will have varsity experience.
I also have four freshmen and a sophomore who are really solid and competitive. I’m looking forward to next season.”
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