Panther tennis teams close out regular season

Wins over Kelly Walsh, Natrona County highlight Senior Day

Posted 9/17/19

The Powell High School tennis teams ended their regular seasons Saturday on a high note, winning three out of four matches against Kelly Walsh and Natrona County.

It was a busy couple of days for …

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Panther tennis teams close out regular season

Wins over Kelly Walsh, Natrona County highlight Senior Day

Posted

The Powell High School tennis teams ended their regular seasons Saturday on a high note, winning three out of four matches against Kelly Walsh and Natrona County.

It was a busy couple of days for the two teams, which traveled to Sheridan Friday. The Panthers knocked off the previously undefeated Generals 3-2, while the Lady Panthers fell 4-1 against a strong Sheridan squad.

The Panthers capped off an undefeated regular season with a 10-0 sweep against the Casper teams, while the Lady Panthers fell to Kelly Walsh but rebounded with 5-0 sweep of Natrona County.

“It was a good, fun finish to our regular season,” said PHS head coach Joe Asay. “I think we’re in a good spot heading into [regionals] next week in Casper.”

The PHS teams also took time Saturday to honor their seniors: Jesse Brown, Dylan Preator, Aidan Jacobsen, Grant Dillivan, Jay Cox, Justin Vanderbeek, Sloane Asay and Hailee Paul all played their final matches at the PHS courts. Coach Asay said this group has been a special one, as, outside of exchange student Vanderbeek, they were all freshmen when he took over as head coach.

“The real thing for me was, holy cow, this was the group that we all started together with,” he said, adding, “I was very fortunate to have such an athletic bunch. They’ll be missed as they finish up their high school career. They’re all great students as well as great athletes, and it’s been really fun to be a part of that.”

 

Panthers 3, Sheridan 2

It was a battle of the unbeatens in Sheridan Friday, with the Panthers coming away with a 3-2 win.

The match was not without its share of drama, however, as Powell’s top two singles players suffered losses to their Sheridan counterparts. Senior Jesse Brown lost his first match of the season at No. 1 singles to Sheridan’s Ethan Kutz in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Coach Asay said the two players have battled each other for most of their high school careers, and it’s a matchup that never disappoints.

“Ethan and Jesse both played great tennis; it was a good match to watch,” Asay said. “Jesse felt he was a little off on his service game, so he was fighting from behind a lot.”

At No. 2 singles, Powell’s Dylan Preator also squared off against a familiar foe, losing in three sets to Reed Rabon 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

“Dylan is still working through some things, just trying to figure out how to stay consistent through a match,” Asay said. “Reed [Rabon] is a solid, athletic kid, and Dylan came up just a bit short.”

All three doubles teams for the Panthers came out on top to secure the overall victory, though it wasn’t easy. Each match went three sets, beginning with Powell’s Jacobsen and Vanderbeek outlasting Cameron Springsteen and Kevin Woodrow at No. 1 doubles, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.

The No. 2 doubles team of Dillivan and Nate Bartholomew beat Sheridan’s Jarrett Hoy and Tomy Phillips (6-2, 4-6, 6-1), while Jay Cox and Logan Brown won in the No. 3 spot over Luke Lawson and Jake Woodrow (2-6, 6-2, 6-2).

“All the doubles teams won after having split sets, so there was some good tennis there,” Asay said.

 

Sheridan 4, Lady Panthers 1

The Lady Panthers’ No. 3 doubles team of Whitney Hull and Kaili Wisniewski was the lone bright spot for Powell against a loaded Sheridan team, beating Samantha Dillon and Lauren Jensen in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

“That was a great win for Whitney and Kaili, it was fun to see that,” Asay said.

Senior Sloane Asay and junior Ashley Dunkerley had a rough go at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, losing in straight sets to Julia Kutz (6-2, 6-0) and Ella Laird (6-0, 6-4) respectively.

Paul and Sophe Morrow fell to Sheridan’s Stephanie Gonda and Tori Pearce (6-1, 7-6) at No. 1 doubles, while Sami Cole and Sydnee Thompson lost to Aspen Malkuch and Sydni Bilyeu at No. 2 doubles (6-4, 6-2).

“That’s a pretty strong Sheridan team,” Asay said. ”We were just a little overmatched, but the girls were out there and competing well.”

 

Panthers 5, Kelly Walsh 0

In Saturday’s opening match against the Casper contingent, Powell won 5-0 over Kelly Walsh, though four of the matches went to three sets.

“We knew we could be tested a little by Kelly Walsh,” Asay said. “They were a young team, but they played well.”

Accounting for the wins were Brown in the No. 1 singles position over Buck Harris (6-1, 6-1), Preator at No. 2 singles over Austin Putnam (6-3, 6-7, 6-4), Vanderbeek and Jacobsen over Drew Rasmussen and Jackson Catchpole at No. 1 doubles (6-3, 3-6, 6-3), Dillivan and Bartholomew over Parker Phillips and Colton Allaire at No. 2 doubles (6-2, 1-6, 7-5) and the No. 3 doubles team of Cox and Brown over Brentan Brown and Ethan Spicer (3-6, 6-1, 6-2).

 

Kelly Walsh 4, Lady Panthers 1

On the girls side, Kelly Walsh won 4-1. The No. 2 doubles team of Cole and Thompson won Powell’s lone match over Isabel Rieker and Kylie Dray in straight sets (7-5, 6-1).

At No. 1 singles, Sloane Asay was beaten in straight sets 6-0, 6-1. Dunkerley lost at No. 2 singles to Lily Putnam 6-0, 6-0.

For the doubles teams, No. 1 Paul and Morrow lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, while the No. 3 duo of Hull and Wisniewski lost 7-6, 6-3.

 

Panthers 5, Natrona 0

Against Natrona County, Brown won by forfeit in the No. 1 spot. Preator at No. 2 singles won in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 over Davis Knight.

The No. 1 doubles team of Vanderbeek and Jacobsen, the No. 2 team of Dillivan and Bartholomew and the No. 3 team of Cox and Brown all won in straight sets, with Natrona winning just one game at No. 2 doubles.

 

Lady Panthers 5, Natrona 0

The Lady Panthers ended the regular season on a high note with a 5-0 sweep of Natrona County.

At No. 1 singles, Asay won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. Dunkerley split sets at No. 2 singles but held on for the win (6-7, 6-4, 7-5).

The No. 1 doubles team of Paul and Morrow (6-4, 6-1), the No. 2 team of Cole and Thompson (7-5, 6-1) and the No. 3 team of Hull and Wisniewski (6-3, 6-3) all won in straight sets.

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