M-CHS tennis crushed in Grand Junction
Graham Cathey secures only win for the Panthers
After beating up on smaller schools to begin the season, the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers tennis team travelled to Grand Junction to test their skills against tougher competition. Unfortunately, the test did not go well.
Grand Junction Central
Playing against the Grand Junction Central Warriors on Friday, Sept. 20, the Panthers lost 6 of 7 matches in route to their first loss of the season.
In the No. 1 singles match, Panthers’ standout Logan Dean was beaten handily by Drake Giess, losing in straight sets 4-6, 2-6.
The No. 2 singles match went a bit better for the Panthers as senior Graham Cathey, after a slow start, regained his composure to best Lael Nordstrom, 4-6, 7-5, 10-4.
“(Cathey) started off making a few unforced errors,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood. “Then he backed off a little bit in terms of how hard he was hitting the ball. His serve really picked up, and he outlasted Nordstrom. It was fun to watch.”
At No. 3 singles, Panthers senior Si Eckart, looking for his first win of the season, lost to the Warriors’ Bryce Atchison, 0-6, 2-6.
Putting their unbeaten record on the line in the No. 1 doubles match, Todd Underwood and Ford Wegner played hard before losing to Camren Thomas and Jon Leonard, 3-6, 7-6, 8-10.
“(Underwood and Wegner) came out slow,” said Wood. “They came from behind to win the second set, but were unable to finish things off.”
Playing in one of the more entertaining matches of the day, Panthers’ No. 2 doubles players Samir Berrada and Xavier Eddy lost to Grand Billiger and Trace Levisen, 1-6, 6-3, 2-10.
At No. 3 doubles, the Panthers’ duo of Tyler Daniel and Dayne Black lost 1-6, 6-7, while at No. 4 doubles, the Panthers team of Wyatt Yates and Cody Canzona lost 0-6, 1-6.
Loss to Aspen
Playing against Aspen after the conclusion of their match against Central, the Panthers were again beaten, losing all 7 matches and winning only 1 set.
In the No. 1 singles match, Dean suffered his second straight loss to Dilan Behr, 3-6, 4-6.
At No. 2 singles, Cathey suffered a similar fate, losing to Brad Broking, 0-6, 1-6.
In the No. 3 singles match, Eckart failed to win a game, falling 0-6, 0-6 to Henry Godfrey, while Underwood and Wegner lost at No. 1 doubles, 2-6, 4-6.
Highlighting the Aspen match for the Panthers were No. 2 doubles players Berrada and Eddy, who managed to win the second set in route to a 1-6, 6-3, 2-10 loss.
Panthers’ No. 3 doubles players Daniel and Black lost 1-6, 2-6, while No. 4 doubles players Yates and Canzona lost 4-6, 0-6.
Loss to Grand Junction
Facing the Grand Junction Tigers on Saturday, Sept. 21, the Panthers again failed to win a match on their way to a convincing loss.
“Grand Junction was tough,” said Wood. “After beating Aspen 7-0, they beat us 7-0.”
Discussing his team’s play over the weekend, Wood said, “We accomplished our goal, which was to look at this whole experience as a training session. We learned what higher quality players are like.”
Next up for the Panthers is a home matchup against Durango at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.