AHS tennis team bags experience at state tourney
The Aspen High School girls tennis team took part in the State Tennis Championships at Pueblo City Park last week and came away with a mixed bag of results.
For the first time in its history, the team qualified more than one person or one doubles team for the state championships, sending Laura Gordon at No. 1 singles, Aimee Hecht at No. 2 singles, and two doubles teams – Natalie Mysior and Alison Ortmann at No. 1 and Whitney Gordon and Brooke Blumberg at No. 2.
Playing against 22 other teams from 4A high schools around the state, the girls from Aspen High School finished in a very respectable ninth place.
The Aspen girls were paced by freshman Laura Gordon’s fourth-place finish.
Gordon won her first match, but dropped her second to Brandi Watts of Lewis-Palmer High School, one of the favorites going into the tourney.
Gordon recovered to win her next two contests, but lost in the third-place match to Christy Roth of Mullen High School.
Both doubles teams dropped their opening matches and were denied playback matches under the system used for the state tournament when their first-round opponents lost in the second round.
But perhaps the best news to come out of the tourney for the Aspen team was that senior Hecht won her first-ever state tournament match in her final attempt, after being turned away in trips to state the last two years.
“That in itself was a victory,” said coach Susie Patterson.
Patterson called the experience a fabulous learning experience, particularly for Laura Gordon, who will have three more years to try to improve on this year’s success.
She felt Gordon had a “50-50 chance” of winning state this year and should return next year as one of the prohibitive favorites.
The trip to State was successful for other reasons, too, said Patterson. “Everybody had a blast.
“I was very proud of all the kids,” she added.
“They played their hearts out.”
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After nine months of being shuttered due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Wheeler Opera House will reopen for local acts. A touchless reservation system will be open to 53 people for in-person at the venue. Online live streaming also will be available.