On a breezy Saturday afternoon, the Filly tennis team nabbed second place at the North Regional Tournament in Cody thanks to strong play in the consolation bracket, while the Broncs took fourth.
The No. 2 doubles pairing of Sage Crofts and Hudson Selk have played well all year, and took their two-back style of play all the way to the finals in their bracket, where they faced a tough Kelly Walsh team. Ava Allsop and Malan Wilson were aggressive at the net in Powell and took down the Filly challengers in about an hour.
“The first set we were really nervous, not playing very well,” Selk said. “So we just decided to have fun, not get in our own heads so much.”
This was Selk’s first time playing the Trojans, having missed the match last week in Casper. The set score turned out the same even with the partners reunited, 0-6, 2-6.
Crofts’ and Selk’s second-place finish was the highest for the Fillies. Even after getting beaten by the Trojans twice in the last two weeks, the pair is confident about a possible matchup next weekend at the state tournament in Gillette.
“I feel like we’ll be less nervous,” Crofts said. “I know we can definitely compete with them.”
This is the first year on varsity for the duo and they’re happy with how they’ve played.
“Kelly Walsh is the only team we haven’t beaten,” Crofts said. “We lost to Sheridan and Powell when we played them the first time, then beat them the second time, so I’m pretty proud of us.”
All of Cody’s other players – No. 1 singles Raegen Staggs, No. 2 singles Anna Brenner, No. 1 doubles Ash Staggs and Soffy Anderson, and No. 3 doubles Tashi Mathiun and Sarah André – took third.
“We’re certainly going to go in with some confidence,” coach Jason Quigley said of state in Gillette. “We’ll get good seeds. That really helps. Hopefully we can take advantage of those good seeds and continue with our momentum, and not just be happy with regionals.”
The lone first-place victory for either Cody team at regionals came on Saturday in Powell as the No. 3 doubles pairing of Neil Markert and T.J. Smith battled back and forth with Sheridan’s Jarret Hoy and Tristan Thompson in a marathon two-set match, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).
“I think we had really high energy, a lot of motivation,” Smith said. “We were super on top of our feet, ready to go for each ball that came our way.”
Nearly every move by Sheridan was countered by the Cody boys. At times, the pair was simultaneously rushing the net, mirroring each other to cover any gaps after a shot, hitting perfectly placed volleys and painting the alleys.
Markert dove after 50-50 balls, finding a way to convert them into a fresh opportunity for the Broncs duo. Smith’s ability to lob over the Sheridan pair had them scrambling to recover.
Hoy And Thompson recovered often. Neither team was willing to give any ground on any rally, some of which went on as long as games in other matches. Markert and Smith began to lose some of that ground in the second set. Down 2-3 in the second, they traded games with Sheridan. 2-4, 3-4, 3-5.
“We try to look at it point-by-point, break-by-break,” Markert said of the long rallies and long games. “We don’t try to look at it as a set. We get this game, we get the break, and we keep going on that.”
They kept fighting, and evened the set score at 5-5. Sheridan took one more game – and the set lead – 6-5. It would be the last time they led in the match.
The Cody pair evened the set at 6, forcing a tiebreaker. They won four straight points before ceding one to Hoy and Thompson. It would be the only point Sheridan earned in the tiebreaker. Up 6-1 the Broncs got the win on an error.
With the victory in Saturday’s championship round, they’re now 8-0 on the season.
The other podium finish by the Broncs came from No. 2 singles player C.J. Dominick. After being upset in the first round by Thunder Basin’s Carson Hanson, Dominick battled his way through the consolation bracket, only to face Hanson again in a match for third place.
Dominick saved three match points en route to the bronze finish, 4-6, 7-6. 6-2.
North Regional Tennis Tournament
No. 1 Singles – Raegen Staggs (3rd place, 8-6) vs. Ella Laird (Sheridan), 1-6, 4-6; vs. Ashley Dunkerly (Powell), 5-7, 6-1, 6-0; vs. Alexa Richert (Campbell County), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0; vs. Kinsley Larson (Thunder Basin), 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 Singles – Anna Brenner (3rd place, 8-6) vs. Sami Cole (Powell), 6-2, 7-6; vs. Lily Putnam (Kelly Walsh), 2-6, 5-7; vs. Chloe Rankin (Campbell County), 7-5, 6-2; vs. Cole, 6-2, 7-5
No. 1 Doubles – Ash Staggs/Soffy Anderson (3rd place, 11-3) vs. Sam Fairbanks/Anna Revill (Jackson Hole), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; vs. Gabriella Blumberg/Avery Strand (Kelly Walsh), 1-6, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7); vs. Maggie Bruse/Autumn Lund (Thunder Basin), 6-4, 7-6; vs. Livia Castellanos/Abi Neary (Campbell County), 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 Doubles – Hudson Selk/Sage Crofts (2nd place, 8-3) vs. Katie Bruse/Brook Kendrick (Thunder Basin), 6-3, 6-3; vs. Samantha Dillon/Laurin Jensen (Sheridan), 7-6, 7-6; vs. Ava Allsop/Malan Wilson, 0-6, 2-6
No. 3 Doubles – Tashi Mathuin/Sarah André (3rd place, 9-5) vs. Lila Asay/Kaili Wisniewski (Powell), 6-3, 6-1; vs. Gillian Mitzel/Allison Ligocki (Sheridan) 6-7, 2-6; vs. Kerissa Anderson/Katelynn Campbell (Natrona County), 6-0, 6-4; vs. Hallie Angelos/Sarah Rasse (Thunder Basin), 6-1, 6-2
Team Scores: Kelly Walsh, 66; Cody, 44; Sheridan, 40; Jackson Hole, 26; Thunder Basin, 20; Campbell County, 13; Powell, 12; Natrona County, 2
No. 1 Singles: Cody Champlin (5th/6th place, 6-7) vs. Reed Rabon (Sheridan), 1-6, 1-6; vs. Max Radosevich (Natrona County), 6-0, 6-0; vs. Tanner Lemm (Campbell County), 7-6, 2-6, 2-6
No. 2 Singles: C.J. Dominick (3rd place, 11-3) vs. Carson Hanson (Thunder Basin), 6-2, 4-6, 6-7; vs. Peter Jost (Sheridan), 6-4, 6-1; vs. Adam Olson (Jackson Hole), 6-1, 6-4; vs. Hanson, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2
No. 1 Doubles: Solomon Stewart/Hayden DeMaranville (4th place, 9-5) vs. Joel Klasson/Mason Miller (Thunder Basin), 7-6, 7-6; vs. Jefferson Neary/Austin Robertson (Campbell County), 2-6, 0-6; vs. Jake Woodrow/Cameron Springsteen (Sheridan), 7-6, 6-4; vs. Buck Harris/Drew Rasmussen (Kelly Walsh), 2-6, 7-5, 2-6
No. 2 Doubles: Tristan Dollard/Mitchell Schwab (5th/6th place, 7-6) vs. Henry Wolfe/Hayden Clark (Jackson Hole), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; vs. Parker Phillips/Alex Yakel (Kelly Walsh), 3-6, 3-6; vs. Tomy Phillips/Luke Lawson (Sheridan), 6-4, 3-6, 3-6
No. 3 Doubles: Neil Markert/T.J. Smith (1st place, 8-0) vs. William Neumiller/Cruz Garcia (Natrona County), 6-0, 6-0; vs. Treydon Ward/Colten Atkinson (Kelly Walsh), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; vs. Jarret Hoy/Tristan Thompson, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
Team Scores: Kelly Walsh, 58; Campbell County, 48; Jackson, 36; Cody, 31; Sheridan, 29; Thunder Basin, 14; Powell, 7; Natrona, 0