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Neil Markert serves in a match earlier this season. 

A long road trip led to split victories in Casper for the Cody High School tennis teams as both the Broncs and the Fillies swept Natrona County, but lost 1-4 to the Kelly Walsh Trojans on Saturday. 

Natrona County

With both the boys and girls teams 2-8 on the season after the loss to Cody, the Mustangs have shown their struggles on the court. 

“I’m proud of our kids for taking care of business. They did great,” said Cody coach Jason Quigley of the Natrona match. “It’s easy when you play people who aren’t as good as you to let your guard down and play poorly.”

Play poorly they did not, as both teams won 5-0 against the Mustangs, each match ending in straight sets. 

“I was really focused on that game,” said Fillies No. 2 singles player Anna Brenner. “I wanted that 6-0, 6-0 win.”

Kelly Walsh

The second match of the day came against one of the top teams in the state, and the Kelly Walsh Trojans played well, dropping just 7 of the 25 sets played.

The lone victory for the Fillies came at No. 1 doubles after an injury default gave the win to Soffy Anderson and Ash Staggs, though Quigley liked the competitive action from all the doubles team, noting how tight the No. 3 doubles pairing of Tashi Mathuin and Sarah André played the Trojans.

“Doubles could really go either way,” Quigley said of their next meeting with the Trojans. 

In singles action, freshman Raegen Staggs had to face off against last year’s state runner-up Finley Klinger. Klinger proved to be too much for Staggs, but the Filly was able to get a game on Klinger in the first set. 

“It’s a tough one,” Quigley said. “Raegen is young, Finley is more experienced. She’s a smart player. She does not beat herself.”

Brenner, for her part, relishes the challenge that an opponent like Kelly Walsh brings. 

“I would be happy and excited to play against them again,” Brenner said. “Hard matches are always the best ones.”

The lone Broncs victory came from the No. 3 doubles pairing of T.J. Smith and Neil Markert. After splitting sets to start the match, Smith and Markert were up 4-1 in the third before the Trojans team of Treydon Ward and Colton Atkinson came storming back, winning four games in a row to take the third set lead 5-4. 

“It was a match of runs,” Quigley said. “They saved three match points.”

Markert and Smith battled back and took the final set 7-5 to save the Broncs from being swept. 

The singles players had their own struggles against the Trojans. No. 2 singles player C.J. Dominick, the second-highest ranked player in the state at that position, lost in straight sets to Kelly Walsh’s Jackson Catchpole. 

“I just didn’t give him enough respect,” Dominick said. “I feel like with a home advantage I could definitely have the chance to beat him, now that I know how he plays and how well he hits the ball.”

No. 1 singles player Cody Champlin played a tough match against one of the best singles players in the state in Austin Putnam. Last year Putnam saw a relatively early exit in the state tournament. Now a junior, he’s a perfect 12-0. 

“I heard some people talking that was the hardest match he played all year,” Champlin said. “That was the most fun match I’ve played all year… I think that’s the kid to beat in the state.”

When the Kelly Walsh contests wrapped, it brought the curtain down on the regular season for Cody tennis. The Broncs and Fillies host regionals this weekend, a contest that will have big ramifications for the state tournament.

Regular-season records play into the seeding for regionals, and how far each player gets in regionals will determine their starting positions in Gillette. Starting position can be huge in these tournaments, allowing the top players to face an easier schedule en route to the finals. 

“It’s crazy how it’s here already,” Champlin said. “The season just started.”

Due to the pandemic, the regional competition will be split between Powell and Cody, with No. 2 and No. 3 doubles playing in Powell, while the remainder play in Cody, in order to allow for more social distancing. 

“It gives us a full homecourt advantage,” Quigley said. “You’ve got more people rooting for you, you don’t have to try to eat out, you don’t have to stay in a hotel. That should be to our advantage.”

The regional tournament will be held this Friday and Saturday. First serve will be early in the morning on Friday, though the schedule has not yet been finalized. 

Cody vs. Natrona County

Fillies

(5-0,

8-1

season)

No. 1 Singles - Raegen Staggs (5-4) vs. Kerissa Anderson, 6-0, 6-0

No. 2 Singles - Anna Brenner (5-4) vs. Breanna Flesvig, 6-0, 6-0

No. 1 Doubles - Soffy Anderson/Ash Staggs (7-2) vs. Sidney Hurlbut/Asia Limmer, 6-3, 6-0

No. 2 Doubles - Karina Schoessler/Sage Crofts (1-0) vs. Katelynn Campbell/Ileana Taulealea, 6-3, 6-3

No. 3 Doubles - Sarah André/Tashi Mathuin (6-3) vs. Rachel Schreckengost/Harlee Santistevan, 6-2, 6-2

 

Broncs

(5-0,

7-2

season)

No. 1 Singles - Cody Champlin (5-4) vs. Max Radosevich, 6-0, 6-0

No. 2 Singles - C.J. Dominick (8-1) vs. Bridger Myers, 6-3, 6-0

No. 1 Doubles - Solomon Stewart/Hayden DeMaranville (7-2) vs. Ryan Swan/Henry True, 6-3,6-2

No. 2 Doubles - Tristan Dollard/Mitchell Schwab (6-3) vs. Kyler Syverson/Ethan Jones, 6-0, 6-0

No. 3 Doubles - Neil Markert/T.J. Smith (4-0) vs. Luke Short/Kyler Parry, 6-0, 6-1

Cody vs. Kelly Walsh

Fillies

(1-4,

8-2

season)

 

No. 1  Singles - Raegen Staggs (5-5) vs. Finley Klinger, 1-6, 0-6

No. 2 Singles - Anna Brenner (5-5) vs, Lily Putnam, 0-6, 1-6

No. 1 Doubles - Soffy Anderson/Ash Staggs (8-2) vs. Gabby Blumberg/Avery Strand, 3-6, 6-1, 4-4 (injury default)

No. 2 Doubles - Karina Schoessler/Sage Crofts (1-1) vs Ava Allsop/Malan Wilson, 0-6, 2-6

No. 3 Doubles - Sarah André/Tashi Mathuin (6-4) vs, Taylor Nokes/Bailey Collins, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3

 

Broncs

(1-4,

7-3

season)

No. 1  Singles - Cody Champlin (5-5) vs. Austin Putnam, 4-6, 4-6

No. 2 Singles - C.J. Dominick (8-2) vs. Jackson Catchpole, 1-6, 3-6

No. 1 Doubles - Solomon Stewart/Hayden DeMaranville (7-3) vs. Buck Harris/Drew Rasmussen, 7-6, 2-6, 3-6

No. 2 Doubles - Tristan Dollard/Mitchell Schwab (6-4) vs. Alex Yakel/Parker Phillips, 4-6, 6-3, 3-6

No. 3 Doubles - Neil Markert/T.J. Smith (5-0) vs. Treydon Ward/Colton Atkinson, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5

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