Bearcats place second to McCook for second time in two weeks
     2015-05-07      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photos by Anthony Brathwaite/Gering Citizen - Gering’s Annessa Escamilla strives to hit the ball for a return during a dual against Alliance.  
For the second time in two weeks, the Scottsbluff girls’ tennis team finished second behind McCook – last week at their home Invite and on Saturday at McCook.
Action in McCook started on Friday, May 1 as Scottsbluff tied McCook 2-2 in a dual match. Scottsbluff’s singles players, No. 1 Zoe Holscher and No. 2 Christina Villarreal, both won their games, but the doubles teams lost.

The next day was the McCook Invite with the home team taking the championship with 40 team points. Scottsbluff was in second with 34 points. Hastings and Ogallala tied for third with 23 points and Gering finished with 10.

Again, Scottsbluff’s singles players performed well and taking the top spots. No. 1 Holscher downed McCook’s Cassiddy Beeby 6-0, 6-1. Villarreal at No. 2 won over Amanda Slattery of McCook, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Both Beeby and Slattery took third place at their positions.

But McCook got the edge over Scottsbluff in team points by winning all of its doubles matches. The No. 1 team of Kacee Samway and Lauren Koetter took the first place medal by downing Scottsbluff’s Cloud and Pauli 8-3.
McCook’s Molly Hardin and Morgan Uerling were also first place medalists at No. 2 singles by downing Huynh and Hancock 8-1.

Playing at the No. 3 position, McCook’s Corrine Bortner and Katie Kjendal beat Woodward and Franklin.
“We played really well in the singles division,” said Scottsbluff Coach Cassie Behnke. “We played better on Saturday than we did the day before with the doubles, but we just didn’t have enough to beat McCook.”

Behnke especially noted that in an earlier match, Villarreal was down 1-4 to Hastings and came back for an 8-6 win. “It was a huge comeback for her because she hadn’t been feeling well that day. I was really proud of her for that.”
Gering also made the trip to the McCook Invite, but the young team of mostly freshmen lost all of their matches. Carolyn Howton went 1-3 at No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles Sheridan Blanco was blanked 0-4.

In Gering’s doubles matches, the No. 1 team of Samantha Gutherless and Annessa Escamilla went 1-3 and Annastacia Cowan and Kaitlyn Wagoner lost 0-4 at No. 2 doubles.
Overall, Gering finished with 10 points at McCook.
“It was great weather for tennis,” said Gering Coach Justin Reinmuth. “We didn’t medal in any of the matches, but we did win a few games. The girls are getting better with every match and we’re still working hard. We hope to get in some more practice before heading to state.”

Before the state tournament on May 21-22, Gering has a triangular with Ogallala and Alliance scheduled for May 16. However, Reinmuth said that match is tentative.
The Scottsbluff girls’ tennis team has been impressive at home recently. After taking second place at their home tournament on April 25, they dismantled the Hershey Panthers in a home dual on April 30.

Scottsbluff posted a 9-0 win over Hershey with four of the six singles players getting 8-0 shutouts. They included No. 1 Holscher, No. 2 Villarreal, No. 3 Sarah Cloud and No. 6 Hancock. Pauli at No. 4 singles posted an 8-3 win and No. 5 Woodward won her match 8-2.

“The girls that played singles really competed,” Behnke said. “Some of them haven’t played singles for awhile. I’m glad we had a good win going into the McCook Invite.”
Scottsbluff played three doubles teams and posted three sweeps. Cloud and Pauli at No. 1 doubles were 8-2 winners. Hancock and Huynh took an 8-3 win at the No. 2 doubles spot. And at No. 3 doubles, Holscher and Villarreal were 8-4 winners.
Scottsbluff was on the road May 5 to play North Platte and Kearney, but those matches were rained out soon after they started. The Lady Bearcats will next see action on Saturday, May 9 in Columbus for the GNAC meet.

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