Holscher finished fourth at state tournament
     2015-05-28      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Scottsbluff’s Zoe Holscher focuses on the return in this Citizen file photo. 
Scottsbluff’s Zoe Holscher brought her impressive 32-6 season record to Lincoln last week as the No. 3 seed in the state tennis tournament. And she continued to shine well into the field.
Playing at the No. 1 singles position, Holscher blanked her first round opponent, Elizabeth Weed of Holdrege, 6-0. 6-0. In the second round, she handed a similar 6-0, 6-0 defeat to Sheyenne Kiesel of Wilber-Clatonia.

The quarterfinal match was next as Holscher faced some stiff competition against Megan Petr of Adams Central. Trailing 3-0 in the first set, she stormed back to win the next six straight games to win the first match 6-3. She also took the second match 6-3 to advance to the semifinal round, the first time that’s happened since 2008.
Holscher lost the semifinal match 6-0, 6-1 to Omaha Skutt Catholic’s Teresa Kaiser, the defending state champion who won it again this year.

“Zoe played out of her mind on day two against some really strong competition,” said Scottsbluff Coach Cassie Behnke. “She ended up in fourth place.”

In No. 2 singles, Scottsbluff’s Christina Villarreal was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Emilye Vales of Wilber-Clatonia. She also won her second match, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 over Jenna Mu of Brownell/Talbot/Concordia before a big 6-0, 6-0 loss to Johnna Lowe of Omaha Skutt Catholic.
Scottsbluff’s No. 1 doubles team of Sarah Cloud and Stacea Pauli posted a first round 6-0, 6-4 win over Hastings St. Cecilia before being blanked 6-0, 6-0 by Omaha Skutt Catholic.

The No 2 doubles team of Alisha Huynh and Rachel Hancock faced familiar competition in the first round against Gering’s Kaitlyn Wagoner and Annastacia Cowan, coming away with a 6-1, 6-2 win. Scottsbluff was blanked 6-0, 6-0 by Elkhorn South in their second round.

“All of the girls played really well,” Behnke said. “Everyone got first round wins, which has never happened for us. The doubles girls just happened to match up against strong competition earlier in the day. It’s tough when you’re playing a number one and number four seed.”

Behnke said they had a really good season. Holscher and Villarreal are both juniors and will return for next year.
“We brought so much experience back from last year and it was a strong motivator for the girls to make it to day two,” she said. “They’ve used their every match to prepare themselves for state and to be mentally tough. It’s nice to see all 16 members of the team mature over the season.”

With 15 players expected to return, Behnke said she’s really encouraged for next spring.

Gering lost all four of its matches in the first round at the state tournament. Senior Carolyn Howton at No. 1 singles was downed 6-3, 6-1 by Nebraska City’s Kendra McGinnis and No. 2 singles Sheridan Blanco, a freshman, lost 6-0, 6-1 to Jenna Mu of Brownell/Talbot/Concordia.

In the doubles positions, the No. 1 team of Samantha Gutherless and Annessa Escamilla lost 6-1, 6-0 to Annie Allmand and Alexa Obermeir of Holdrege. And in No. 2 doubles, Kaitlyn Wagoner and Annastacia Cowan lost 6-1, 6-2 to Scottsbluff’s Alisha Huynh and Rachel Hancock.
“We’re a younger team with a lot of freshmen,” said Gering Coach Justin Reinmuth. “We just didn’t have a lot of the talent we needed this year. But they tried really hard and I see a lot of promise for their future. They just need to put in some more time because we’re a new program that’s growing.”

But that future will be with a new head coach. Reinmuth will continue to coach the boys’ tennis team, but has resigned as the girls’ coach. “I hope they continue to play and get better at the game,” he said. “My daughters are starting to get into sports and coaching just really became a conflict.”

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