Road treats area tennis teams well
     2014-04-24      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Ken Kurtz/Spectrum Photo - Gering’s Carolyn Howton returns a volley during a recent triangular with Alliance and Scottsbluff at home. Howton and No. 2 doubles partner Marlee Lupher had a mixed result last week on the road, falling 8-1 to Kearney Catholic on Tuesday, and winning 8-5 over the same team at Lexington.  
The matches were moved due to weather conditions, but both Gering and Scottsbluff girls’ tennis teams performed well on the road last week.

Both Gering and Scottsbluff played dual matches against Kearney and Kearney Catholic on April 15. The next day, both teams were in Lexington for a 12-team invitational.

One day really can make a difference. Gering’s No. 2 doubles team of Marlee Lupher and Carolyn Howton lost 8-1 to Kearney Catholic on Tuesday, then turned around the next day to post an 8-5 win over the same team at Lexington.

“The competition is very high at Lexington,” Gering Coach Justin Reinmuth said. “Maybe they figured out the competition from the day before, but they played very well. It was a big deal for them to come back with a win.”

The elite position on any team is No. 1 singles, and Reinmuth said the competition was pretty much what they see at the state tournament. Katie Collins ended up .500 on the day, posting a 2-2 record. At No. 2 singles, Katlyn Wagoner lost her three matches.

Gering’s biggest winners of the day in Lexington was the No. 1 doubles team of Savannah Walker and Samantha Gutherless, who won three and lost two.

“We were up some great competition,” Reinmuth said. “The more we compete the more we’ll be prepared as we head toward the state tournament.”

He added the No. 2 doubles team is really starting to come together. Katie Collins has taken a lot on her shoulders to be the No. 1 singles player.

Gering placed eighth at the Lexington Invite with a team score of 15 points.

Scottsbluff also opened the week at Kearney and lost both of those duals – 8-1 to Kearney Catholic and 9-0 to Kearney. The Bearcats lone win came at No. 6 singles as Makayla Castro posted an 8-6 win over Kearney Catholic. And she almost pulled out another win against Kearney, but fell in that match 8-6.

“It’s always hard playing both Kearney teams,” said Coach Cassie Behnke. “They’re excellent teams and are good competition. They got us prepared for playing tough teams at the state tournament. It’s still tough to have two tough losses.”

The Lady Bearcats did much better the next day at the Lexington Invite, ending up sixth overall with a team total of 21 points.

Zoe Holscher took second in No. 1 singles, winning four of her six matches. Both her losses were to Kearney Catholic, who ended up winning the invite with 55 points.

Christina Villarreal also had a good day at No. 2 singles with a 3-2 record.

In doubles play, the No. 2 team of Makayla Castro and Rachel Madden turned in a record of 2-2. But the No. 1 team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli dropped all three of their matches.

“The girls played totally different,” Behnke said. “They had more confidence and weren’t worried. They just played the tennis they knew how to play. They turned the failure from the day before into success, and that’s all I can ask from them.”

Scottsbluff, Gering and Alliance played in a triangular event Tuesday and results weren’t available before press time. Visit our website at www.geringcitizen.com for the rest of the story.

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