Tennis girls ready to play role of spoiler
     2013-05-16      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
While neither Scottsbluff nor Gering has any seeded entries in this week’s Class B State Tennis Tournament in Lincoln, the Bearcats and the first-year Bulldogs would be glad to play the role of spoiler.
Both Gering and Scottsbluff actually benefitted from the early spring snow storms that wreaked havoc on their April schedules.

Because of the rescheduling and adding of some duals, however, Gering’s season was extended from its last regularly scheduled date of April 27 – which otherwise would have given the Bulldogs a long wait until state this week.

“That was a nice, nice benefit actually,” Gering coach Justin Reinmuth said. “At the time when all the events were being canceled, we didn’t know if they be rescheduled.

“Ultimately, I think it gave us a better opportunity to get warmed up, especially having Lexington right before state, because that was as closest thing we had to playing state competition.”

A quadrangular at Scottsbluff’s new courts on May 7 gave opportunity for Gering junior Katie Collins to win the Bulldogs’ first gold-medal tournament performance in the program’s inaugural season.

“That really gave her that push and confidence to want to compete and want to win,” Reinmuth said of Collins, who then placed fifth in the Lexington Invitational last Thursday – which had been postponed from April 11 – at what he said was close to the competition level the Bulldogs will face at state.

Collins finished the Lexington tourney with a record of 3-2 to finish fifth, while junior teammate Marlee Lupher was 1-4 at No. 1 singles to place ninth.

Competing for Gering in doubles action are junior Savannah Walker and sophomore Samantha Gutherless at No. 1 and freshman Katlyn Wagoner and junior Brittney Moreno at No. 2.
“That was a nice effort for her,” Reinmuth said of Collins’ placement at Lexington. “She started off the season a little bit rough, then all of a sudden these last three competitions, she has just been dominant.”

Collins finished 3-0 at No. 2 singles in the Scottsbluff quad, which included Alliance and North Platte.
Gering also defeated Alliance in a 6-3 dual on May 4, the Bulldogs’ first win over Alliance in three dual tries.

“Momentum is everything, and I think the kids are starting to get the taste of getting some wins under their belts and that is really giving them a push,” Reinmuth said.
“We know that state’s going to be really tough. Our goal from the beginning of the year is to try and possibly make the second day at state, and I really think we have some possibilities with Katie or our No. 1 doubles team that we could maybe make it to Day 2, which would be awesome.”

Regardless of their on-court outcomes this week, Reinmuth said the most important factor that the Bulldogs will take from their first trip to state is experience and the chance to grow from the opportunity next spring – when hopefully better, more consistent weather will prevail as well.

“We don’t have any seniors this year, so we have our entire team returning next year,” Reinmuth said. “I think that is really going to help give us that extra step up next year against better competition, and maybe we can start winning and become a dominant team in the valley.”

For Scottsbluff in the Lexington Invitational, freshman Zoe Holscher led the Bearcats with a third-place finish at No. 1 singles. Holscher, who won the Scottsbluff tourney No. 1 singles title, went 3-1 in pool play before winning her third-place match.
At No. 2 singles, Scottsbluff’s Christina Villarreal went 1-4 to finish eighth.

The Bearcats’ No. 1 doubles team of Akacia Kraus and Rachel Madden earned a fifth-place finish with a record of 2-3. At No. 2 doubles, Scottsbluff’s Sarah Cloud and Stacae Pauli finished seventh with a 2-3 record.

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