Gering, Scottsbluff compete at McCook Invite
     2014-05-08      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/Sheila Weber Photography - Scottsbluff’s Christina Villarreal prepares to return a volley during the Scottsbluff Invitational held recently at home. Villarreal won 8-6 over Krista Schufeldt of Hershey in the No. 2 Singles during a home dual last weekend.  
Both Gering and Scottsbluff girls’ tennis teams were on the road in McCook May 3 for the McCook Invitational.

Gering freshman Annessa Escamilla was at No. 1 singles for the day, but lost her first match, 8-2 to McCook senior Brittany Unger. At No. 2 singles, Gering’s Kaitlyn Wagoner lost 8-0 to McCook’s Libby Broadfoot.

Gering Coach Justin Reinmuth said he brought up Escamilla, a JV player, to take over at No. 1 singles after Katie Collins became ill and was unable to make the trip.

“Annessa was admirable for her first time in a varsity meet,” Reinmuth said. “She usually only plays at No. 3 doubles. It was big load to put on her shoulders but she did very well for never having been in that situation.”

Reinmuth said the entire field at the McCook Invite was good competition. No one came home with medals, but he chalked it up to a learning experience for his young team.

Gering’s three doubles teams all lost to McCook opponents. Savannah Walker and Samantha Gutherless at No. 1 doubles lost 8-3 to Bailee Stang and Sydney Pfeifer. No. 2 Marlee Lupher and Carolyn Howton took an 8-4 loss from Kacee Samway and Karlie Dueland. And the No. 3 team of Megan Baker and Amanda Slattery lost 8-4 to Molly Hardin and Lauren Koetter.

Gering finished in last place at the McCook Invite with a total of 13 team points.

Scottsbluff started off their weekend at home, hosting Hershey in a dual on May 1. Coach Cassie Behnke said the whole team looked good, losing only two matches.

“We played 12 girls that day,” Behnke said. “When we can play that many and come up with a win shows me the depth of the team.”

Zoe Holscher at No. 1 singles was an 8-1 winner over Lindsey Taylor of Hershey. At No. 2 singles, Christina Villarreal won 8-6 over Krista Schufeldt. Other winners for Scottsbluff were No. 3 Anna Wiebe, 8-1 over Hope Duggan; No. 5 Makayla Castro, 8-1 over Lydia Wiseman; and No. 6 Sarah Woodward, 8-5 over Emily Dethlefs. No. 5 singles Aubrey Straub lost 5-8 to Hershey’s Courtney Laubrier.

In doubles action, the No. 1 team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli were 8-2 winners over Hope Duggan and Lydia Wiseman. No. 2 doubles Makayla Castro and Rachel Madden took an 8-6 win over Courtney Laubrier and Emily Dethlefs. Scottsbluff’s No. 3 doubles team of Pernie Akselsen and Paige Corr lost 2-8 to Hershey’s Lindsey Taylor and Krista Schufeldt.

Scottsbluff was on the road to McCook Friday and Saturday, playing a dual against the Bison on Friday, then competing in the McCook Invite Saturday along with Gering, Hastings, Ogallala and McCook.

Behnke said their match against McCook wasn’t as positive. Because the state format was used, the teams only played four matches on the day, with Scottsbluff coming away with one win.

“Sometimes it’s hard to travel for five hours and play well right away,” she said. “McCook has an older team with a lot more experience. But I can’t complain, although I would have liked to have more games.”

No. 1 singles Zoe Holscher swept McCook’s Brittany Unger 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 singles Christian Villarreal lost 4-6, 3-6 to Libby Broadfoot.

In doubles action, the No. 1 team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli lost in 0-6, 06- straight sets to Bailee Stang and Sydney Pfeifer. The new No. 2 singles team of Pernie Akselsen and Paige Corr lost 4-6, 2-6 to Karlie Dueland and Kacee Samway.

Scottsbluff placed third at the McCook Invite on Saturday. Zoe Holscher took first place in the No. 1 singles match with an 8-0 win over Maddie Herman of Ogallala. At No. 2 singles, Christina Villarreal took a second round 8-4 loss to Brooke Busboom of Hastings.

In doubles action, Scottsbluff’s No. 1 team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli lost in the first round, 8-2, to McCook’s Bailey Stang and Sydney Pfeifer. The No. 2 team of Paige Corr and Pernie Akselsen lost 8-0 in the first round to McCook’s Kacee Samway and Karlie Dueland. And in No. 3 doubles for Scottsbluff, Rachel Hancock and Alisha Hunyh lost 8-0 in the first round to Molly Hardin and Lauren Koetter of McCook.

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