The Scottsbluff and Alliance boys tennis teams wrapped up their regular-season schedules in dual action against McCook on Tuesday afternoon at Scottsbluff High School.
Both squads used the duals as final tune-ups for next week’s Class B state tournament, which will be held Oct. 11-12 in Lincoln.
Alliance and McCook battled to a 2-2 tie in the pro set format, while the Bison got the best of the Bearcats 4-0.
“This was our last tune-up before state,” Alliance coach Rich Stickney said. “I was glad to get some close matches in because we need those. McCook’s always such a tough opponent, and we always feel like we’re an improved team after we play against them.”
Alliance’s two wins both came from the Bulldogs’ No. 1 positions.
At No. 1 singles, Keagan Hill earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over McCook’s Tristen Thomas. The win helped Hill improve his season record to 21-4.
At No. 1 doubles, Alliance’s Kyler Kaping and Keith Sanders recorded a tough three-set win over Drew Bredvick and Chase Midkiff by scores of 7-6, 1-6, 6-2. Kaping and Sanders prevailed 7-2 in the opening-set tiebreaker. The duo improved to 16-1 on the season with the win.
Alliance’s Alex Elston dropped a 6-0, 6-2 setback to McCook’s Cody Jankovits at No. 2 singles, while the Bulldogs’ Brodie Fielding and Brian Gould fell 6-3, 6-3 to Lucas Post and Kalan Stamm at No. 2 doubles.
Elston is now 11-5 on the season. Fielding and Gould are 13-8.
“I’m real happy with our team,” Stickney said. “We look forward to another good week of practice before heading down to Lincoln.”
Alliance finished fifth at last year’s state tournament. The Bulldogs feature the majority of that same experienced squad this season.
“We’ll definitely have to take our ‘A’ game, but we anticipate competing well,” Stickney said. “There’s a lot of pressure playing in the state tournament. That can play a big part in it. Our kids have been there before and I believe having a heavy senior squad with experience will help us.”
McCook swept all four dual matches against Scottsbluff on Tuesday.
Jankovits beat Alex Harbach 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Thomas handed Eric Olsen a 6-0, 6-1 setback at No. 2 singles, Stamm and Post teamed up to down Traver Pettijohn and Logan Woodward 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, and Midkiff and Bredvick earned a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sean Mercer-Smith and Jackson Frank at No. 2 doubles.
Despite the setback, Scottsbluff coach Ron Swank credited his young squad for competing strongly like it has all season long.
“I’ve played 12 guys on varsity this year, so we’re really building some experience,” Swank said. “Playing at this level gives them a good taste of the competition. Hopefully, it inspires them to work hard in the offseason. Success in tennis is achieved during the offseason, especially in the summer months before practice starts.”
The seedings for next week’s state tournament will be released on Monday.
Alliance 2, McCook 2
No. 1 singles — Keagan Hill, Alliance, defeated Tristen Thomas, McCook, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 2 singles — Cody Jankovits, McCook, defeated Alex Elston, Alliance, 6-0, 6-2.
No. 1 doubles — Kyler Kaping, Keith Sanders, Alliance, defeated Drew Bredvick, Chase Midkiff, McCook, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-2.
No. 2 doubles — Lucas Post, Kalan Stamm, McCook, defeated Brodie Fielding, Brian Gould, Alliance, 6-3, 6-3.
McCook 4, Scottsbluff 0
No. 1 singles — Cody Jankovits, McCook, defeated Alex Harbach, Scottsbluff, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 2 singles — Tristan Thomas, McCook, defeated Eric Olsen, Scottsbluff, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 1 doubles — Kalan Stamm, Lucas Post, McCook, defeated Traver Pettijohn, Logan Woodward, Scottsbluff, 6-0, 6-2.
No. 2 doubles — Chase Midkiff, Drew Bredvick, McCook, defeated Sean Mercer-Smith, Jackson Frank, Scottsbluff, 6-0, 6-0.