Panthers’ tennis loses at Aspen

Graham Cathey hits the winning serve against Aspen’s No. 1 singles player Saturday on the road. Cathey won the match for M-CHS in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Enlargephoto

Photo courtesy of Dan Wood

Graham Cathey hits the winning serve against Aspen’s No. 1 singles player Saturday on the road. Cathey won the match for M-CHS in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

Its been more than a decade since a Panthers No. 1 tennis player defeated an Aspen No. 1.

It happened Saturday when junior Graham Cathey demolished Aspen’s Gordon Curr, 6-3, 6-4. To add icing to the cake, Panthers No. 2 singles player Logan Dean dismissed Katen Ganow, 6-2. 6-4.

“Most teams can field very strong players at No. 1 and No. 2. Winning at both these positions against the best players on the other team, is tough,” Montezuma-Cortez High School tennis coach Dan Wood said. “It’s a great start to the season in our first outing against a quality opponent like Aspen.”

Overall the tennis team, rebuilding after losing five starting seniors to graduation, lost the match to Aspen, 5-2.

For Cathey, the win was especially sweet after playing tough positions for the last two seasons. As a freshman he played in the No. 2 position and last year stepping up to No. 1 as a sophomore.

Cathey’s opponents in the past have been typically larger, more experienced seniors.

“Graham is a real competitor that uses both skill and smart tactics in his matches. He’s improved greatly during the offseason putting in the extra time it takes to be a top player,” Wood said. “He’s learned several new shots and strategies that add variety to the flashy, power games he’s known for in the region.”

Dean has upped his tennis game as well.

“Logan builds his game around one of the strongest serves in the region. He uses his serve to dominate opponents on his success in tennis,” Wood said. “He’s also spent the offseason on the courts adding shots, consistency and improving his understanding of tactics.”

The Panthers will host Cedaredge on Friday at the Jim Harkendorff Tennis Courts at 5 p.m, in non-region action.

“In a rebuilding year for the team, it’s great to have two such dedicated and talented players leading the team. They’re going to be fun to watch,” said Wood about Cathey and Dean.