Panther tennis teams go 1-1 on road

Win against Rock Springs, fall to Green River

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The Powell High School tennis teams won seven of their eight singles matches against Green River and Rock Springs on Monday and Tuesday, but found the going a bit tougher in doubles competition, returning home with an overall 1-1 split. Both the Panthers and Lady Panthers lost to Green River before rebounding to beat Rock Springs.

“The boys and the girls on the singles courts were great against these two teams,” said head coach Joe Asay. “We’re still trying to figure some things out on both sides, girls and boys as far as doubles matchups. But all in all, everybody played well. It was a good couple of days.”

Green River 3, Lady Panthers 2

Lady Panther Elise North made quick work of Green River’s Haylen Cordova in the No. 1 singles spot, winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, while Sierra Sanders defeated Anna Kimball in a hard-fought No. 2 singles match 6-3, 6-4.

The doubles teams, however, didn’t fare as well, as the Lady Panthers were swept in the three doubles matches.

In No.1 doubles, Sloane Asay and Sophe Morrow fell to Green River’s Audrie Harrison and Kaitlynn Sharp, 6-1, 6-2, while the No. 2 pairing of Ashley Dunkerley and Hailee Paul fell to Kelby Pope and Sydney Beutel, 6-1, 6-3.

“In the case of No. 1 doubles, we had a couple of girls with some experience going up against some Green River girls who also had experience,” Asay said. “We probably won’t do much in terms of changes to that position, but it was a tough loss.”

In No. 3 doubles, Sami Cole and Kaili Wisniewski fell to Green River’s Gabby Heizer and Megan Counts, 6-1, 6-2.

“In the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles spots, we had a couple of girls in that No. 2 spot that had varsity experience last year,” Asay said. “On the No. 3 spot, the girls played hard, but it wasn’t quite the results we were hoping for.

Green River 3, Panthers 2

Jesse Brown and Dylan Preator got the 2018 season off to a strong start, with straight-set wins over Green River’s Danny Christiana (6-0, 6-1) and Caeden Grubb (6-2, 6-3) in the No.1 and No. 2 singles spots, respectively.

But much like their female counterparts, the Panthers were swept in their doubles matches, giving Green River the team win.

In No. 1 doubles, Jarrett
Atkins and Connor Friel of Green River downed Aiden Jacobsen and Grant Dillivan 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, while the No. 2 team of Brett McKeehan and Jordan Anderson defeated Aiden Hunt and Logan Brown 6-3, 6-2.

In No. 3 doubles, Green River’s Jon Leininger and Elliott Potter defeated Jay Cox and Ethan Bartholomew 6-1, 6-1.

“We didn’t get a win, but they’re out there banging, so that’s good to see,” Asay said of his doubles teams. “We’re going to have some movement, probably more in that No. 3 doubles spot with some of the other kids that are playing the JV spots.”

Lady Panthers 4, Rock Springs 1

After Monday’s tough loss to Green River, the Lady Panthers bounced back against Rock Springs, downing the Lady Tigers 4-1.

“The kids played well,” Asay said. “There wasn’t a lot of depth there for Rock Springs, but you’re hesitant ... to take any credit away from any of our kids, because a lot of times what will happen, is the kids will play down. But they didn’t, they went out there and played well and won, and that’s good.”

After a dominating performance against her Green River opponent Monday, North fell to Rock Springs’ Sasha Bentley 7-5, 6-3 in No. 1 singles on Tuesday.

“Elise [North] had a great match today, battled well in a match that was just short of two hours,” Asay said. “It was a good match, but she came up short in straight sets.”

In the No. 2 spot, Sierra Sanders battled Rock Springs’ Courtney Smith, earning a 7-5, 6-3 win.

“Sierra [Sanders] had a great outing, a long first set at 7-5 and then turned it up and finished strong with a 6-3 win in the second set,” Asay said. “She played really well.”

The Lady Panthers’ doubles teams reversed their fortunes from the day by sweeping all three doubles matches.

In No.1 doubles, Sloane Asay and Sophe Morrow downed the Lady Tigers’ tandem of Michelle Butterfield and Aislya Pecolar 6-3, 6-2.

Switching things up a bit at the No. 2 doubles spot, Ashley Dunkerley and Sami Cole defeated Maddie Corbitt and Josie Johnson 6-4, 7-5. At No. 3 doubles, Hailee Paul and Whitney Hull survived a three-set battle, earning the win at 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.

“We did move our doubles teams around a little bit, giving Whitney Hull the opportunity to play at No. 3 doubles,” Asay said. “We got wins all the way across the board, which was nice.”

Panthers 4, Rock Springs 1

Jesse Brown and Preator picked up where they left off on Monday in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots for the Panthers, earning straight-set wins.

Brown downed Ian Fletcher 6-0, 6-1, while Preator defeated Nico Woolsey in similar fashion, 6-0, 6-1.

“Jesse [Brown] and Dylan [Preator] had one-loss games apiece. They really played great,” Asay said.

On the doubles side, Aiden Jacobsen and Grant Dillivan bounced back from their loss on Monday to post a 6-2, 6-3 win over Gunner Hamblin and Nick Allen at the No. 1 spot.

In No. 2 doubles, Panthers Aidan Hunt and Takolta Hammond made easy work of Wyler Van Valkenberg and Zach Smith 6-1, 6-1.

Rock Springs finally broke into the win column in No. 3 singles, as Derek Lionberger and Shane Ramsey downed Powell’s Austin Chandler and Jay Cox 6-4, 6-4.

“Austin [Chandler] and Jay [Cox] had two really close, tight sets, but unfortunately lost in straight sets,” Asay said. “But it was a real good showing for them.”

Overall, Asay said it was a solid start to the season, and the PHS teams will now set their sights on Friday’s home opener against the two Gillette schools, Thunder Basin and Campbell County.

“The kids are eager to play, which is great,” Asay said. “They’re stepping up to the line, they’re getting their serves in, getting in the points with their serves. We have a lot of work to do on the doubles side, but we’ll get there. But ultimately, it was a great effort.”

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