“Green River and Rock Springs (each) have a young team and I think we played OK. It was a good start for us,” said PHS head coach Ray Bieber. “We were able to see some things we need to work on.”
The opening weekend included a perfect start for boys No. 1 singles player Eric Curtis and the No. 2 doubles team of Marshall McArthur and Ashton Soloai, who all won their two matches. The girls No. 1 doubles team — first of Lacey Eckerdt and Sheridan Roling, then Eckerdt and Emily Kath — also went undefeated; Kath won an additional match at the No. 2 singles position.
Bieber said the squads will need to continue to improve to do well at upcoming dual meets — and he said the teams have a lot of potential to do just that.
“We’re very athletic and by the end of the year, it’ll be interesting to see,” he said.
Some 40 students went out for the girls and boys squads this year, including two foreign exchange students. Bieber said that’s given the squads a lot of depth.
“We have a lot of young people also on our JV team, which we’re really excited about for our future,” Bieber added, citing particular strength among young Lady Panthers.
At the top singles position for the boys, Curtis, a senior, downed Phillip Martinez of Green River in straight sets on Friday, 6-3, 7-5 and stayed on a roll the next day by beating Alex Arambel of Rock Springs, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
“He had a good summer and is playing pretty well right now,” Bieber said.
Shohei Sato, a sophomore foreign exchange student from Japan, fell 6-3, 6-0 to Green River’s Nathan Smith, but rebounded to take a 6-3, 7-5 decision over Gus Wagner of Rock Springs on Saturday.
The No. 1 doubles squad, sophomore Sam Prestwich and senior Todd Lewis, were dealt 6-2, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-2 losses from Green River and Rock Springs, respectively
Bieber said the No. 2 duo of junior McArthur and senior Soloai “played really well together” in beating Green River 7-5, 6-4 and Rock Springs 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
At No. 3 doubles, junior Justin Lynn and freshman Matt Brown beat Green River 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 before a split-set 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-3 loss to Rock Springs.
On the girls side, No. 1 singles player BreaAnn Hollenbeck thumped her Green River counterpart, Bri Rundell, 6-0, 6-1. The junior came up short against Alex Wordonoth of Green River, 6-4, 6-4.
At No. 2 singles against Green River, senior Kath beat Taylor Gnose, 6-0, 6-4. Bieber said Kath had a great summer and really improved.
On Saturday, Roling took the second singles slot and fell to Rock Springs’ Cassie Lew, 6-1, 6-0.
The girls No. 1 doubles team, senior Eckerdt and junior Roling, beat their Green River counterparts 6-2, 6-4. On Saturday, Eckerdt teamed with Kath for a 6-4, 6-2 win over Rock Springs.
Freshman Cydney Barrus and junior Marisa Sanders dropped respective 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 decision to the Green River and Rock Springs’ No. 2 doubles squads.
Playing at No. 3 doubles, senior Kim Moore and sophomore Savannah Harker grabbed a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 decision from Green River. They narrowly fell in splits sets to Rock Springs, 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(5).
The Powell High School squads have a busy week: they’re scheduled to face Cody in a 4 p.m. dual there this (Thursday) afternoon. On Friday, they’ll head to Jackson to face the Broncs in a 4 p.m. match-up, then turn around and head to Riverton for matches against Rawlins (9 a.m.) and Riverton High (noon).
“We’ll see what we’re made out of here,” said Bieber.