Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT – The weather pattern that coached a drastic drop in temperature across the state of Colorado over the past several days added a different element to Thursday’s dual between the Silver Creek and Greeley Central boys tennis teams.
On top of competing against one another in each of the seven matches, all the players found themselves in a race to adjust to the elements.
Overall, the Silver Creek boys found their footing a bit better in the cold and that edge helped the Raptors to a 6-1 team victory. Figuring things out quickly has been a theme for the Raptors, who now find themselves at 3-4 in duals despite entering the 2020 campaign expecting to be in rebuild mode.
“It was kind of disorienting because it was really cold today and it was like a hundred degrees for our last match,” Raptors senior William Van Vuuren said. “I took a bit of time to adjust to the temperature and how the ball bounces. I think that was one reason why my match went to three sets. He was more acclimated and hit some great slice shots on his serves in the first set. But I kind of figured it out and got it done.”
Van Vuuren improved to 6-2 on the season when he defeated Greeley Central’s Reid Richardson, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 2 singles spot. At No. 3 singles, Silver Creek senior Robbie Esteban won 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 over Hunter Ruesch to push his season record to 6-1.
“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to but I came out with the win,” Esteban said. “The other guy hit some really nicely placed shots that were tough to defend. Overall, I just played well enough to win. I’m hopeful to do well at regionals and perform well in our next two matches because we have some competition coming up.”
Silver Creek’s Jaden Reenan lost 6-1, 6-1 to Tate Sodinger but the Raptors swept the doubles matches starting at No. 1 with Dario McCormick and Rocco Rosa, who won 6-3, 2-6, 7-6. At No. 2 doubles, Luke Graboski and Seanan Kelly won 6-0, 6-2.
Raptors No. 3 doubles pair Pierce Bigelow and Nick Golovanov won 6-4, 6-4. Nate Hansen and Jake Bator won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 doubles.
With regional tournaments less than two weeks away, Raptors head coach Sarah said she is pretty happy with how the Silver Creek boys are playing.
“They played really well,” Whiteley said. “We’ve had a couple of seniors and some athletes that came out because they couldn’t play soccer or do swimming, sports like that. They’ve contributed very positively to the season and we’re happy to have them out here. We thought it was going to be a rebuilding year and a learning year but I’m happy with how it’s gone so far.”