Bulldog, Bearcat netters see tough competition at Scottsbluff Invitational Tournament
     2014-09-11      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Both Gering and Scottsbluff boys’ tennis teams got to see some new competition during last Saturday’s Scottsbluff Invitational, with Scottsbluff placing fifth and Gering in sixth to round out the six-team field.

Gillette, Wyo. ran away from the field with 61 team points and Alliance was in second with 33 points, followed closely by Sheridan, Wyo. in third with 32 points. Torrington was in fourth with 30 points, Scottsbluff in fifth with 27 points and Gering with 10.

For Gering, all three of its doubles teams, No. 1 Mason Marsh and Luis Hernandez, No. 2 Christian Rogers and Grant Maser, and No.3 Josh Wilson and Andrew Canales, all went 0-5 on the day.

In singles action for Gering, No. 1 Alex Lupher went 1-4, while No. 2 Jason Doll went 3-2 to finish third.

Gering Coach Justin Reinmuth said Doll was in some marathon matches for the day, as every one seemed to go 9-8 or 8-6. After losing to Alliance 8-4, he came back strong with a 9-7 win over Gillette, but fell to Sheridan 9-8 in a 12-8 tie-breaker. After figuring the numbers, Doll finished in third place.

“The match with Jason and Sean Mercer-Smith in the final went really long,” he said. “They were still at center court after everyone else had headed home.”

Reinmuth said he’s moving some people around this week on doubles teams and they might have a whole new look by Saturday, when they’re in North Platte for an Invitational. “This is a building week for sure.”

For Scottsbluff, their coach said they played well in their home invite. In doubles action, No. 1 Brady Sindt and Soren Mercer-Smith, No. 2 Jackson Frank and Owen Parra, and No. 3 Patrick Madden and Gunner Buchhammer all finished at 3-2.

Scottsbluff’s Eric Olsen finished 0-5 in No. 1 singles action for Scottsbluff, while No. 2 Sean Mercer-Smith went 3-2.

At the end of the day, Mercer-Smith just missed placing because he was tied at 3-2 with Gering’s Jason Doll and Gillette’s Aaron Swan. Because of tie-breaker criteria, Swan was awarded second place and Doll placed third.

“Sean didn’t end up placing because of a three-way tie,” said Scottsbluff Coach Maddie Burford. “But I thought he played really well. All of his matches were really long and were all really close.”

She said that while Olsen didn’t win any matches, she hopes to help him work on improving for the next match.

“Overall, I think the doubles teams did well as they all placed third,” Burford said. “They won the matches I though they should have won and a few of them surprised me with the matches they won.”

She added the doubles teams are playing together and are using what they worked on in practice.

“This week, we’re going to be working on our net play and volleys,” Burford said. “Our doubles did a great job of getting to the net but we have a hard time putting the ball away when we have the opportunity. For the singles, it’s a matter of knowing when to go for their shots and when to come to the net. Everyone just needs more experience in playing.”

Scottsbluff was on the road Tuesday for a dual at Torrington and results weren’t available before press time. Both Gering and Scottsbluff will be in North Platte this Saturday for an invitational.

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