M-CHS tennis team wraps up regular season with victory
An epic individual upset on Friday, Sept. 27, a team sweep on Saturday, Sept. 28, and with that, the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers’ tennis team is headed to regionals.
PANTHERS DEFEATED BY FRUITA
Opening homecoming weekend against the always tough Fruita Monument Wildcats, the Panthers lost six of seven matches, yet the team’s lone win was a memorable one.
Competing against Matt Harris in the No. 1 singles match, Panthers’ senior Logan Dean put on a show, evoking images of David slaying Goliath, in a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory.
“(Dean) lost the first set 1-6, and he just wasn’t able to keep the unforced errors down,” said Panthers’ head coach Dan Wood, describing the match. Then, he just decided to keep the ball in play and hit accurate winners.”
“My strategy for this season has been to keep the ball in play and play the points out,” Dean said. “That’s what I did, and I was able to get the win.”
In the No. 2 singles match, Panthers’ senior Graham Cathey was defeated by the hard serving Randy Hurshman, 1-6, 1-6.
Playing in his first high school singles match, Panthers’ junior Samir Berrada suffered a similar fate in the No. 3 singles match, losing 1-6, 2-6, but for the team’s top underclassman, the loss provided valuable experience.
“I feel like I probably could have done a bit better, but overall (the match) went in the right direction,” said Berrada. “I got some experience for later, and for a first (singles) match, it wasn’t bad.”
At No. 1 doubles, Panthers Todd Underwood and Ford Wegner were defeated by Gabriel Trieder and Kelsan Reimer 4-6, 3-6.
“They were good all around,” said Wegner, describing his team’s tough opponents. “When they had the opportunity to make a nice shot, they took it.”
The Panthers’ No. 2 doubles duo of Si Eckart and Xavier Eddy fell 0-6, 0-6, while the Panthers No. 3 doubles team of Dayne Black and Tyler Daniel lost 0-6, 0-6.
Rounding out the varsity matches, Panthers’ No. 4 doubles players Cody Canzona and Wyatt Yates were defeated 1-6, 2-6.
VICTORIOUS OVER MONTROSE
Following up on their tough loss to Fruita, the Panthers hosted the Montrose Indians on Saturday, Sept. 28, and with a large crowd in attendance, the team did not disappoint.
Kicking off the team’s 7-0 victory, Dean posted his second consecutive win at No. 1 singles, besting Jared Warren in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
At No. 2 singles, Cathey beat Andrew Johnson 6-0, 6-1, while Berrada recorded his first high school singles win over Brad Sawyer, 6-4, 6-4.
Playing a pro-set to eight in the No. 1 doubles match, Underwood and Wegner won 8-0, while the Panthers’ No. 2 doubles team of Eckart and Eddy recorded an 8-4 pro-set victory.
In the No. 3 doubles match, Black and Daniel won 6-1, 6-1, while the Panthers’ No. 4 doubles players, Yates and Canzona, recorded an 8-6 pro-set victory.
With their regular season now complete, the Panthers will practice for three days before travelling to Grand Junction to compete in the Region VIII tournament, Oct. 4-5.
“My goal is to finish third or fourth at (regionals),” said Wood. “That would be a good achievement for us.”