THS tennis begins season in Gillette
GILLETTE – The Torrington High School tennis teams opened the 2023 fall schedule on Saturday in Gillette facing off against both Campbell County and Thunder Basin high schools.
Torrington split with Campbell County, with the boys’ team picking up a 3-2 victory, while the Lady Blazers fell 4-1. Against Thunder Basin, the girls fell 5-0, while the boys lost 4-1.
“The outcome was not what we had hoped for, but getting out and playing some experienced players was a good experience for us,” coach Lauren Shields said. “We also got to take some of our players who are alternates or junior varsity players in order to get them some court time.”
Senior Adam Bartlett provided the bright spot for the Blazers, beginning his season with a 2-0 record in at the No. 1 singles.
Bartlett picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Thunder Basin and a 6-3, 6-2 win over Campbell County.
“Adam served and played well. I’m proud of his play this weekend, his groundstrokes were mostly consistent, and his serve was better than it was last season,” Shields said. “I’m really excited about his start to the season. He works so hard at practice and outside of practice playing with his brother and friends. His hard work will pay off. I foresee him stealing some wins from some schools that they won’t expect.”
Torrington also got a 6-0, 6-1 win from the No. 2 doubles team of Steven Schneider and Gabe Posten.
“These boys have a very impressive, combined wingspan,” Shields said. “If/when they are both at the net and volleying consistently, no one will be able to put balls around them for a winning shot.”
Torrington’s third win came by default in the No. 3 doubles division.
No. 2 singles player Jorey Asmus fell 6-2, 6-3, while the No. 1 doubles team of Elijah Hatch and Skyler Thomas fell 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
In the girls’ division, the No. 1 doubles team of Juliana Russell and Marlee Foy picked up the Lady Blazers’ only win of the match.
“The girls’ doubles teams are not totally set at this point,” Shields said. “Not all of the girls on the team had enough practices to attend and play at Gillette, so I mixed and matched all three girls doubles teams. The only doubles spot that I think is a guarantee currently is Juliana Russell at No. 1 doubles. She is currently my No. 3 player only behind Katie (Watson) and Madix (McIntosh).”
Russell and Foy picked up a 6-4, 7-5 victory.
“Both girls serve well and understand doubles play and rotation,” Shields said. “They played well together.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Hailey Defoe and Madison Hatch fell 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), while the No. 3 team of Olivia Judkins and Addison Hansen lost 6-3, 6-4.
In singles action, Watson fell 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2,
“She left it all out on the court,” Shields said of Watson. “This match lasted close to 2 hours and was grueling. Katie has beautiful ground strokes that are very consistent, and she is fun to watch.”
Meanwhile, McIntosh fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
“This is only her second season of tennis,” Shields said. “I spoke with Madix earlier in the summer, and we agreed to work this summer at turning her into a singles player. Madix is very athletic and can chase down balls that other girls can’t get to. Once we made the decision to try and move her to singles, Madix put in the work. She would stay after open courts for over an hour to work on her ground strokes and serves. Just in the past two months she has improved so much. She is a competitor and hates to lose. I’m excited to see what her season will bring.”
Also on Saturday, the Blazers also took on the Thunder Basin Bolts, falling in both matches.
The only win of the match went to Bartlett, 6-1, 6-1.
Asmus, as well as the doubles team of Hatch and Thomas and Marcus Jones and Benaiah Steinbrecher all went three sets.
Asmus fell 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, while the team of Hatch and Thomas fell 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. The team of Jones and Steinbrecher fell 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
In the girls’ division, it was a clean sweep for Thunder Basin.
McIntosh’s match at No. 2 singles was the lone match to go three sets. Ultimately, she fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Watson fell 6-0, 6-1, while the doubles team of Russell and Hatch lost 6-0, 6-3. Judkins and DeFoe lost 6-0, 6-1, while Foy and Hansen lost 6-2, 6-2.
Torrington hosts the Rawlins Outlaws on Saturday, Sept. 19. First serve is scheduled for 10 a.m.
“Like I said, not the outcome we had hoped for, however, I am pleased with some of the things I saw this weekend,” Shields said. “I’m excited to see what this team will do this season. I am also very excited for what the future for Torrington tennis will hold.”