Scottsbluff girls’ tennis planning to net winning season
     2014-03-20      By Jon-Lee Campbell    jon-lee@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/Sheila Weber Photography - The Scottsbluff Girls’ Tennis Team members this season are front row from the left, Sarah Woodword, Makayla Castro, Olivia Salazar, AKacia Kraus, Abby Fernandez, Rebecca Weis, Tieesha Alsides, Rachel Hancock; back row, Katelyn Lambert, Rachel Heggem, Pernille Akselsen, Anna Wiebe, Aubrey Straub, Rachel Madden, Sarah Cloud, Stacea Pauli, Alisha Huynh, Zoe Holscher, Christina Villarreal. Not pictured Samantha Coleman and Paige Corr. 
Scottsbluff girls’ tennis head coach Cassie Behnke is pumped and ready to get this season started. It’s her sixth year coaching and she said this year’s team has “tons of potential.”

There are many returning players from last year and some new players as well. There are 20 girls all together on the team; six of which went to state last year.

“State was really exciting and encouraging because so many freshmen got to go,” said Behnke. Zoe Holscher is one of the many freshmen girls from last year that made it to state. She won her first match against a higher raked player, and then went on to play an “amazing second round.” Behnke said she is a player to keep your eyes on this season.

She added that all of the girls are working hard to push one another to be their best. The returning players are helping the rookies get their feet, as well as helping each other stay on top of their game. Many of the girls practiced during the off-season and came back stronger players.

Behnke said there are a lot of good schools they will be going up against, and this will be a great season. She admits that last year they weren’t expecting a lot out of the Gering team because it was their first year, but now she knows that they are a team to watch out for.

The team they really want to beat is McCook. Behnke said McCook has an “excellent tennis program,” and would be a way to gauge how her girls have progressed. McCook has a history of having a very strong team. “They are the ones we’d love to beat,” said Behnke.

Behnke said they are getting an early start on the season this year. Their first match will be at Grand Island Central Catholic on March 20. She said her team would be “formed by the fire” there.

It’s the earliest they’ve ever started their season and it’s at a new location with different schools and athletes to play against. Some of the players even have private coaches. It’s going to be challenging, but will be a great place to see what shape the team is in and where they will go this year.

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