Panthers tennis team beats Cedaredge to improve to 2-0 MCHS captures six of seven matches to remain unbeaten early in season
Two matches into the season, the victories continue to pile up for the Montezuma-Cortez High School boys’ tennis team. Competing against the Cedaredge Bruins on Sept. 7, the Panthers were dominant, winning 6 of 7 matches on the day and improving their season record to 2-0.
Leading the way for the Panthers was #1 singles player, Logan Dean, who defeated Dario Malgoza in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. With the victory, Dean improved his record to 2-0 on the season and in doing so, left his head coach impressed.
“(Dean) wasn’t challenged and so he decided to keep the ball in play,” explained Panthers’ head coach, Dan Wood. “He won with accuracy rather than power.”
In the #2 singles match, MCHS senior Graham Cathey was equally impressive, defeating the Bruins’ Austin Bowen in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
For Cathey, the victory represented his second straight and moved his record to 2-0 on the season.
“(Cathey) started off hitting the ball hard,” said Wood. “Then, he made some errors so he decided to keep the ball in play and keep the unforced errors down. He played well.”
Running into a tough opponent in the #3 singles match, Panthers’ senior Si Eckart dropped a competitive match to Ryan Bowen, 4-6, 1-6. With the loss, Eckart fell to 0-2 on the season.
Remaining undefeated at #1 doubles, the Panthers’ duo of Todd Underwood and Ford Wegner improved their season record to 2-0, besting Vincent Welsh and Gus Sandels, 6-2, 6-4.
“(Underwood) was outstanding at the net,” said Wood, recounting the #1 doubles match. “(Wegner) served well and hit good balls on the baseline.”
Picking up their first win of the season at #2 doubles, MCHS juniors Xavier Eddy and Samir Berrada bested Vincent Welsh and Gus Sandels in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, to even their record to 1-1 on the season.
“(Eckart and Berrada) started off a little nervous,” said Wood. “Once they started playing their game, they gained control fairly easily.”
Competing at #3 doubles, the Panthers team of Tyler Daniel and Dayne Black moved to 2-0 on the season, beating Zach Kaczmarek and Kerry Ribbens in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
Panthers Wyatt Yates and Cody Canzona enjoyed a similarly easy victory at #4 doubles, besting the Bruins’ team of Joe Marah and Thomas Huggett, 6-0, 6-1.
“Overall, we had a really good match,” said Wood, summing up his team’s performance. “Moving forward, we have to improve on not making as many unforced errors.”
Hoping to continue their winning ways, the Panthers will next travel to Delta to compete in the always-tough Delta Tournament on Sept. 13-14.