By Stephanie Thompson

Tennis team battles elements at state


October 3, 2019

The Green River tennis teams not only had to compete against their opponents at State this weekend, but the weather.

According to head coach Phil Harder, on Thursday the weather was great for tennis, but on Friday and Saturday it rained and the matches had to be moved to the indoor courts at Gillette. Harder said both the Lady Wolves and the Wolves tennis teams had to adjust to the indoor courts.

The Lady Wolves adjusted well and took fifth place overall, while the boys came in 10th place at State this weekend.

Braxton Cordova and Zach Friel, the No. 3 boys double’s team, played a smarter doubles’ strategy the second day of the tournament and ended up winning the consolation finals on Saturday, Harder said.

“They had to battle back on the back draw to get there and played tough,” he said. Megan Counts playing No. 2 singles had a great tournament and played smart single’s strategy earning her a fourth-place finish.

The No. 2 boys double’s team of Camden Nelson and Domenick Kunkle battled through the consolation bracket to take fourth place, while the Lady Wolves No. 2 double’s team of Sydney Beutel and Alicia Harrison had to play tough to earn a third-place finish at State.

“The north teams this year were very competitive and played well, along with Cheyenne Central,” Harder said. “It was very cool to see the Powell Boys Team earn a team title, which was their first ever tennis title.”

Harder said the team seemed to handle the stress a State competition brings.

“Considering we had players that had to play past midnight on Friday in the indoor facility due to rain delays, they played and handled it extremely well,” Harder said.

For the four seniors, this was their last State competition. Harder said Elliott Potter, who played No. 1 boys double’s team, was a boy’s team captain and an “extremely talented double’s player who did things right.”

Seniors Morgan Atkins and Rory Ratliff, who played No. 1 girls double’s together will be missed.

“They were fun to watch because they always got to the net and put the ball away on a consistent basis,” Harder said.

Beutel, who played No. 2 girls doubles was a girl’s team captain and “had a great slice shot that won her tons of points during her matches,” Harder said.

For the underclassmen who competed at state, this is an experience that will help them a lot.

“For some, they now know what it will take to have success at State and what they have to do in the off season to get them to the level they need to be at,” Harder said.

When reflecting on the entire season, Harder felt it went well.

“Our girls and boys had a lot of success, considering how young they both were, which bodes well for the future,” he said.


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