Gering and Scottsbluff girls stay local for tennis action
     2014-05-01      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/Sheila Weber Photography - Gering’s Katie Collins, who took third place at Saturday’s Scottsbluff Invite in the No. 1 Singles competition, makes contact at the Scottsbluff Triangular on April 22. 
Both Gering and Scottsbluff girls’ tennis teams started weekend action on Friday with duals and continued on to the Scottsbluff Invite on Saturday.

Gering went winless Friday, dropping a 9-0 match to the McCook Bison at home. Coach Justin Reinmuth admitted it didn’t go so well. “McCook has a very good program with a long-time coach,” he said. “They really beat us up on Friday.”

However, there were some close matches that went down to the wire. The No. 2 doubles team of Marlee Lupher and Carolyn Howton and Savannah Walker at No. 5 singles all put in strong performances, but both lost 8-6 to McCook opponents.

“After the meet Friday, some of the girls stuck around and we went over some strategies for the next morning invite,” Reinmuth said. “It paid off for us.”

Gering rebounded the next day to take fourth at the Scottsbluff Invite, which Coach Reinmuth said was a great improvement over last year when none of his players collected medals.

This time out, Katie Collins took third place at No. 1 singles. Third place finishes also went to the No. 1 doubles team of Savannah Walker and Samantha Gutherless and the No. 3 doubles team of Annessa Escamilla and Allie Wilson, both freshmen, recently brought up from the JV squad.

Reinmuth said it was nice to see Collins at No. 1 singles and the No. 2 doubles team of Lupher and Howton both come back to beat their McCook opponents on Saturday.

“Those wins were a positive for the girls,” Reinmuth said. “We’re seeing some improvement with the team and we’re looking forward to this weekend at McCook.”

Scottsbluff was also at home on Friday for a dual with Campbell County, Wyo., who also participated in next day’s Scottsbluff Invite.

Sophomore Zoe Holscher at No. 1 singles turned in a strong performance with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Campbell County’s Lauren Miller to extend her record to 12-5. Holscher’s straight-set win helped the Lady Bearcats in their 3-2 win over Campbell County.

Christina Villarreal at No. 2 singles dropped her match 6-0, 6-2 to Madison Hinshaw of Campbell County.

The Bearcats’ other points on Friday came from the No. 1 doubles team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Campbell County. The No. 2 doubles team of Rachel Madden and Makayla Castro also posted a hard-fought win at 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

“That dual was a good way to lead into the weekend,” said Coach Cassie Behnke. “It gave the girls a lot of confidence.”

Scottsbluff took third place in its home invite the next day with a total 38 points. Campbell County won the event with 58 points, followed by McCook at 45. Gering came in fourth with 32 points.

The Bearcats were led by No. 1 singles player Zoe Holscher, who took the championship with a 5-0 record on the day. No. 2 singles player Christina Villarreal finished as the runner-up with a 4-1 record.

“The girls have all the potential to win,” Behnke said. “They just need to get out on the court and perform when they need to. They have the fundamentals and the skills.”

Scottsbluff hosts Hershey in a dual on Thursday and are on the road for Friday and Saturday. On Friday, they face McCook in a dual and compete in the McCook Invite on Saturday.

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