Gering’s Dollarhide, Walker claim first-round win at state tennis tourney

The Gering High School varsity boys tennis team wrapped up its season Thursday in the Class B state tournament at Lincoln.

The highlight of the day for the Bulldogs was the performance of juniors Dyson Dollarhide and Hunter Walker at No. 1 doubles. They captured an exciting first-round victory, taking down Scottsbluff sophomores Lincoln Frank and Riley Little 6-1, 6-3.

Dollarhide and Walker then went up against the fourth-seeded team, Mount Michael Benedictine’s Joe Hitzemann and Peyton Rosenfels. Although Gering’s duo battled tough, Mount Michael earned a 6-1, 6-1 win.

Gering head coach Ron Swank said he was proud of Dollarhide and Walker’s effort.

“They did really well against Scottsbluff. That was one of their better matches of the season,” Swank said. “They then played Mount Michael, the fourth-seeded team, and they were really good. But Dyson and Hunter competed well. They made [Mount Michael] work hard for every point they got, and that’s all you can ask. Dyson and Hunter worked really well together.”

In other results at state for Gering, junior Mark Karpf faced York junior Ty Schneider in the first round and lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.

At No. 2 singles, Gering senior Caleb Andrews battled tough against Ralston senior Brandon Linhart before losing 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.

At No. 2 doubles, Gering sophomore Trent Davis and freshman David Karpf fell to GICC’s 10th seeded Jacob McNamara and Jayden Palik 6-1, 6-1 in a first-round match.

Overall, Swank said he liked the way his players battled in a tough state tournament.

“We only got one win, but I thought all the guys competed well,” he said. “There’s a lot of good competition at state, but I think we showed that we belonged there.”

Swank said he’s pleased with how the Bulldogs’ season went. He thought his players showed lots of improvement from the first day of practice to the end of the season.

“I thought we grew a bunch,” he said. “They worked hard, and all of them have come a long way. They matured a lot.”

He added, “It’s been a fun season. It’s a great bunch of kids. I couldn’t ask to coach a better group.”

Swank said the future of Gering’s boys tennis program looks bright, as most of this year’s players will be back next season.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” he said. “These kids will continue to get better, so it’s going to be another fun season.”