Scottsbluff boys tennis team earns fourth at GNAC tourney

Scottsbluff's Porter Robbins returns a volley during a doubles match against Alliance's Devin Garcia and Kirk Sanders in the Gering Tennis Triangular on Thursday, Oct. 3.

The No. 1 doubles team of Lincoln Frank and Porter Robbins finished second in the GNAC conference tournament to lead the Bearcats to a fourth-place team finish. Gering ended in fifth place.

Scottsbluff tennis coach Darren Emerick said Frank and Robbins have led the charge all season for the Bearcats.

"They’re both co-captains, so they’ve been our leaders on the team,” he said.

Gering was led by Hunter Walker who went 4-1 for a second place finish in No. 2 singles.

The Bulldog's Mark Karpf went 2-3 and finished in fourth in No. 1 singles.

Scottsbluff’s No. 2 doubles team of Ethan Ramirez and Aaron Schaff earned a third-place finish.

“Hastings is the biggest school in Class B. They’re very solid in their No. 2 doubles,” Emerick said, “And McCook is kind of like the standard for all Class B tennis right now. They played McCook a very tough match and came up short on that one and ended up 3-2 on the day.”

Gering's No. 1 doubles team of Dyson Dollarhide and Trent Davis took fifth place the No. 2 doubles team of David Karpf and Noah Moreno ended sixth.

In singles play, junior Dawson Mohr placed fifth for the Bearcats.

“He played tough,” Emerick said. “No. 1 singles is very competitive. They play a lot of Class A teams at GNAC. McCook is extremely competitive, and Hastings as well. He had a back and forth rivalry all year with Mark Karpf from Gering. He came up short in that match today. And took the final match with another rival Greg Bergeron of North Platte in the final match.”

Emerick said the Bearcats just fell short of their goal for the tournament.

“As a team, we had a goal coming in of finishing at least third place,” he said. “We came up one point short. Any one win at any position would’ve done that for us. We’re a little disappointed in that sense, but the doubles combined were 7-3 on the day.

"It was singles where we struggled with just one win out of 10 matches. So, that’s what we will be working on a lot the last weeks going into state. We’re trying to bolster those singles results and keep improving on the doubles.”

Emerick said his doubles teams are playing well heading into the later part of the season.

“We definitely are (playing well) in doubles,” Emerick said. “In singles, I think we are starting to struggle a little bit. It’s been an on-again, off-again season.

"Singles is a little bit tougher to pull off in western Nebraska. We do not have indoor facilities. We do not have indoor, year-round tennis programs. When we run into schools that have indoor facilities and year-round instruction, it’s very challenging.

In doubles, good athletes can make up ground a lot quicker. So, we always expect them to be very competitive. That’s really key for us performing well at state, is to find a way to get more wins, a little bit higher performance out of singles.”

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Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9050 or emailing jeff.vanpatten@starherald.com.

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