Cats’ tennis grabs 3rd at Lexington
     2016-09-23      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Assistant Coach Cassie Behnke took the Scottsbluff boys’ tennis team east on Friday, September 16, for the Lexington Invitational where the Bearcats came away in third place among the seven-team field.

With a team score of 27, Scottsbluff was only two points behind runner-up Lexington. Holdrege won the invite with 32.

Leading the Bearcats, Sam McCaslin at No. 1 singles finished in second place. In pool play, he posted an 8-1 win over Alliance, followed by 8-5 over Holdrege and 8-6 over North Platte. McCaslin lost the championship match 8-2 to Lexington’s Tanner Rowe.

“Sam had a strong finish at one singles,” Coach Behnke said. “He played really strong in his first three matches but ran out of gas in the championship match.”

At No. 2 singles, Scottsbluff’s Conner Muhr placed fourth, going 2-1 in pool play. After blanking Alliance 8-0 and an 8-3 win over Holdrege, he lost his third place match 8-0 to Lexington’s Henry Chacon-Ibarra.

Behnke said Muhr continues to work hard at two singles and each match is another opportunity to work on another part of his game.

Scottsbluff’s No. 1 doubles team of Brady Sindt and Soren Mercer-Smith also placed third at Lexington, going 3-1 on the day.

They started with a 9-8 (8-6) winning tiebreaker match against North Platte and an 8-3 win over Alliance. Their first loss was 8-5 against Holdrege. In the third-place match, Sindt and Mercer-Smith topped Kearney Catholic 8-4.

Although the No. 1 team went up against three strong teams, Behnke said she saw a lot of good things from them.

The Bearcats’ No. 2 doubles team of Gunnar Buchhammer and Mason Ramig struggled in the early going before eventually getting back on track with an 8-5 win over Holdrege. They ended the day in seventh place.

“Two doubles had a slow start in the morning, but finished the day on a high note with wins over Holdrege and Gering,” Behnke said. “Overall, the day went well for us.”

Gering and Alliance both finished with four points each, in a seventh-place tie at the bottom of the field.

Grant Maser, Gering’s No. 1 singles player posted a win before taking seventh place with an 8-3 win over Dylan Horton of Alliance.

Josh Wilson, Gering’s No. 2 singles player also posted a win in pool play before falling 8-6 to Holdrege to finish in seventh.

Gering’s No. 1 doubles team of Tyler Tjaden and Juan Aguilar went 0-3 at Lexington, finishing in eighth place. The No. 2 team of Brock Parker and Dyson Dollarhide went 0-3 and also finished in eighth.

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