Panthers tennis opens season with losses

Berrada, Walker, Eddy Mueller win matches as team struggles

Playing its first two matches of the season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School tennis team struggled to find ways to win.

The Panthers did gain valuable experience however, which players and coaches hope will serve the group well later this year.

Panthers fall to Fruita JV

Kicking off their season on the road on Aug. 29 against Fruita Monument’s junior varsity team, the Panthers dropped six of the seven matches they played.

M-CHS’s lone win on the day came courtesy of senior Sam Berrada, who, playing at No. 2 singles defeated Davis Deussen, 6-4, 6-4.

“(Berrada) played really well,” said Panthers head coach Trena Walker. “He was just way more consistent and had a lot less errors. On the big points and big rallies, he was always tougher.”

Also putting up a fight was M-CHS No. 1 singles player Cody Canzona, who lost to Brandon Lovato, 7-5, 7-5.

At No. 3 singles, M-CHS freshman Rory Walker lost to Corey Brown, 6-4, 6-1, while at No. 1 doubles, the Panthers tandem of Xavier Eddy, and Jace Mueller lost to Smith Heaps and Bryce Morse, 7-5, 6-1.

M-CHS No. 2 doubles players Zach Lampson and Grant Gassoway lost 6-2, 6-3; No. 3 doubles players Rowdy Veach and Keelyn Chandler lost 6-2, 6-1; and the No. 4 doubles tandem of Billy Broughton and Noah Porter fell 6-4, 6-2.

Panthers lose to Montrose

Looking to rebound from their loss to Fruita, the Panthers played Montrose on Aug. 30 and lost four of their six matches.

Leading the way for the Panthers, Rory Walker won the first match of his high school career, defeating Jakob Taylor 6-4, 6-3.

“(Rory’s) second serve made a big difference,” said Trena Walker. “He was a lot more settled in than he was (against Fruita).”

Also winning for the Panthers were No. 1 doubles players Eddy and Mueller, who defeated Montrose’s Taylor Jones and Grayson Shearer, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.

“(Eddy and Mueller) played a really good match,” said Trena Walker. “That was fun to watch.”

At No. 1 singles, Canzona lost to Jared Warren 1-6, 2-6; at No. 2 singles, Berrada lost to Brad Sawyer 3-6, 3-6; at No. 2 doubles, Lampson and Gassoway lost 2-6, 3-6; and at No. 3 doubles, Veach and Chandler lost 4-6, 5-7.

Montrose did not field a No. 4 doubles team, so Broughton and Porter did not play.

Next up for the Panthers will be the Delta Tournament, in Delta, Sept. 12-13.