Last week was a busy one for the Powell High School tennis teams, as the Panthers and Lady Panthers welcomed in teams from Jackson, Riverton and Rawlins.
Jackson arrived Thursday and came to play, winning both the boys’ and girls’ team matches 5-0 and 4-1, respectively. The Panther teams rebounded Saturday with wins over Riverton and Rawlins.
“It was not a bad day [on Saturday],” said PHS head coach Joe Asay. “Things are coming along well.”
Jackson 5, Panthers 0
It was a battle of the unbeatens in the No. 1 singles spot, as Powell’s Jesse Brown squared off against Jackson’s Nate Fairbanks — a player he has some history with.
“It was kind of a rough go against Jackson,” Asay said. “On the boys’ side, that kid that Jesse Brown went up against [Fairbanks] is someone we’ve been watching the last few years. Jesse lost to him last year down in Jackson, and the two would have gone at it again potentially in regionals, but it was rained out.”
The rematch once again went Fairbanks’ way, as he downed Brown in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
In No. 2 singles, Jackson’s Steven Ashurst defeated Dylan Preator 6-1, 7-5. The two players had met twice last season when both were playing in the No. 2 doubles spot, splitting the difference with a win apiece; both made the jump to No. 2 singles this season.
“The kid [Ashurst] is pretty solid and athletic at the lefty game,” Asay said. “Those two moved up and took the big jump into that two spot. It was another one of those matches that just as easily could have been a win for Powell.”
In No. 1 doubles, Jackson Santomauro and Brooks Bradford of Jackson defeated Aidan Jacobsen and Grant Dillivan 6-2, 6-0, while at the No. 2 spot, George Gervais and Jesse Stevenson took down Powell’s Aidan Hunt and Logan Brown 6-3, 6-2.
Trey Dykeman and Elliot Sanchez defeated the Panthers’ Jay Cox and CJ Brown 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 in a hard-fought No. 3 doubles match.
Jackson 4, Lady Panthers 1
Lady Panther Sierra Sanders was the lone bright spot for Powell on the girls’ side against Jackson, winning in the No. 2 singles spot in straight sets over Corah Pitman Miller 7-5, 6-2.
“After some frustration on Monday for Sierra [Sanders] against Cody, playing the defending champion in Teagan Thompson, she bounced back and got back in the win column,” Asay said. “That was good for her — she was pretty frustrated with the bagel in the second set [against Cody]. It’s been fun to see her having some success.”
The rest of the matches once again “could have gone either way,” according to Asay, but unfortunately it was Jackson’s day to shine. In No. 1 singles, Jackson’s Hyla Chatham defeated Elise North 6-3, 6-1, while in No. 1 doubles, Shayla Shoopman and Sloane Asay fell in straight sets to Valerie Stevenson and Rivkah Bar-Or 7-5, 6-1.
Jackson’s Megan Tucker and Anna Revill bested Ashley Dunkerley and Sophe Morrow 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in No. 2 doubles, while in the three spot, Sam Fairbanks and Sarah Gerger defeated Hailee Paul and Sami Cole 6-4, 7-5.
“That’s a good, strong Jackson team,” Asay said.
Panthers 5, Riverton 0
It was a short-handed crew from Riverton that showed up for the boys’ match Saturday morning, as the Wolverines were forced to forfeit the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches.
“I love the wins for our kids, but you’d like for the kids to be able to get the work in,” Asay said. “The coaches from Riverton try really hard to field a team, but it’s a community where they just really don’t have a lot of support.”
Brown and Preator made short work of Riverton’s Devon Harper and Tanner Selvig, winning 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots.
In No. 1 doubles, Jacobsen and Dillivan cruised to a straight sets win over Anthony Petsche and Kaden Kellner 6-1, 6-0.
Lady Panthers 5, Riverton 0
Riverton brought eight girls to Powell Saturday, but were only able to play seven of them, as Sierra Sanders took a forfeit victory in the No. 2 singles spot. In No. 1 singles, Elise North defeated Summeri Bass 6-0, 6-0.
Shayla Shoopman and Sloane Asay topped Grace Rohn and Kate McDonald 6-0, 6-0 in No. 1 doubles, Ashley Dunkerley and Sophe Morrow beat Kaia Tippits and Mya Tate 6-0, 6-0 in the second spot and in the third spot, Hailee Paul and Sami Cole defeated Henriette Bakke and Kia Wilson 6-0, 6-0.
Panthers 3, Rawlins 2
Rawlins gave the Panthers all they could handle Saturday afternoon, but Brown and Preator continued to play well in the top two positions.
Brown defeated Ryan Pfeffer 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles spot, while Preator made short work of Jacob Pacheco 6-0, 6-1.
In No. 1 doubles, Powell’s Jacobsen and Dillivan outlasted Gabe Murry and Cody Scott 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, while in the two spot, Sebastian Maes and Chad Hansen of Rawlins beat Aidan Hunt and Logan Brown 7-6, 4-6, 6-2. The No. 3 singles spot went to Rawlins on a forfeit after an injury to CJ Brown.
Lady Panthers 5, Rawlins 0
In No. 1 singles, Elise North bested Selena Landa 6-1, 6-2, while Sierra Sanders continued her winning ways, defeating MacKenzie Thompson 7-5, 6-3.
“Elise [North] had a good, competitive win, and Sierra [Sanders] got pushed a little bit actually,” Asay said. “We had a chance to communicate a little bit during a couple of changeovers, and she [Sanders] said she wasn’t feeling quite like she was hitting on all cylinders. But she fought through that and came out with a win.”
The No. 1 doubles team of Shoopman and Sloane Asay stayed in the win column for the day with a straight sets win over Sam Waring and Darby Thayer 6-1, 6-4. Coach Asay said the pair really seemed to click chemistry-wise in this match.
“Where before I’d seen them [Shoopman and Asay] flat-footed and not moving like they should, this time they really played together well, this was what it’s supposed to look like. It was a great win for them,” he said.
In No. 2 doubles, Ashley Dunkerley and Sophe Morrow downed Madelynn Kulmus and Alexis Townsend 6-3, 6-1, while Hailee Paul and Sami Cole defeated Laminah Stewart and Sharayah Lusch 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 3 spot.
“We actually rolled through those Rawlins kids pretty easily,” coach Asay said.
The PHS tennis teams will host their final home matches Saturday against Sheridan. Games are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.