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State tennis tournament postponed

Powell High School’s No. 2 singles player Matt Brown eyes a return during a Sept. 5 match in Cody. Brown and the rest of the PHS tennis teams will head to Gillette for the state tournament Monday through Wednesday. Powell High School’s No. 2 singles player Matt Brown eyes a return during a Sept. 5 match in Cody. Brown and the rest of the PHS tennis teams will head to Gillette for the state tournament Monday through Wednesday. Tribune file photo by CJ Baker

Bad weather has pushed the state high school tennis tournament into next week.

The tournament had been scheduled to start today (Thursday) in Gillette and run through Saturday, but cold, windy and possibly snowy conditions were in the forecast.

Given the forecast, the Wyoming High School Activities Association chose to move the tournament to next Monday, Oct. 7, through Wednesday.

“Please realize this is not what we enjoy doing; however, with the fact we are using 19 outdoor courts on Thursday and Friday, there is no way we can move all of those matches into the five indoor courts and have a quality State Tournament,” said WHSAA Director Ron Laird.

“I know this is a hassle whenever a schedule is changed. We only do this as a last resort,” Laird added.

The tennis schedule has been plagued by poor weather this fall.

Powell had four regular-season matches rescheduled because of rain. Thanks to make-up matches, the boys and girls ended up playing on eight out of 10 days from Sept. 19 through Saturday’s conclusion of the North Regional Tournament. Lousy conditions in Casper last week forced the first day of the tournament indoors last week; the second day was played in strong winds.

PHS head coach Ray Bieber said it’s the first time bad weather was expected for regionals and state.

“We’ve always had one or the other, not both,” he said.

As for goals at the three-day state event, Bieber said the PHS teams want to play some people on the final day of the tournament. If a player still is alive on the last day of the double-elimination competition, it means they’ve made the championship rounds and are headed to a top-four finish.

Similarly, having the girls finish in the top four as a team “would be awesome,” Bieber said.

Girls No. 2 singles player Anna Gransoe and No. 2 doubles team Josie Brinkerhoff and Rachel Anderson earned the north region’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in their divisions with strong performances last week.

Thanks to strong performances and some luck of the draw, “we have good seeds” for state, said Bieber. “Even the people that lost out, we’re seeded fairly well.”

Brackets are viewable online at www.whsaa.org.

“Sometimes things change at state — and sometimes they don’t, so it will be interesting to see what happens,” Bieber said.

He said he hopes his squads are peaking at the right time.

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