Aspen High boys tennis wins season-opening tournament in Grand Junction
The Aspen High School boys tennis team got its season underway Saturday, winning the Lowry Bishop tournament in Grand Junction in dominant fashion. The Skiers went 3-0 with wins over Grand Junction (6-1), Fruita Monument (5-2) and Grand Junction Central (7-0), going 18 for 21 in individual contests.
“We had a good day today. Tough. Kind of hot and smoky,” AHS coach Steve Sand said. “We are still figuring out our lineup. We’ve had a good two weeks of practice, but our challenge matches were cut short because of the weather — the smoke and stuff. So I mixed things up a little bit today.”
Senior Christian Kelly played in the No. 1 singles spot for Aspen in the opener, a role he held all of last season, as well. He went 2-1, his only loss coming against Fruita’s Wayne Aggen, 6-3, 6-3. Kelly lost in the first round of the state tournament last fall at No. 1 singles after going 1-1 at No. 2 singles as a sophomore.
Playing No. 2 singles Saturday was senior Alex Mosher, who also lost his only match against Fruita. Mosher finished fourth at state last year at No. 2 singles after making it through to the semifinals.
At No. 3 singles on Saturday for two matches was freshman Chase Kelly, Christian’s younger brother, who had wins over Central and Grand Junction. Senior Lukee Tralins also played one match at No. 3 singles, beating his Fruita opponent. Tralins was part of the team’s No. 1 doubles team last year.
All told, AHS had 12 players get on the court Saturday in Grand Junction. Also playing were Bryce Cordts-Pearce, Dyer Hunting, Sebastian Pedinielli, Quinn McKie, Micky Terkun, Alex Schlosser, Beckett Brennan and Josh Ward.
Of those 12, six are seniors and seven are upperclassmen, meaning the Skiers have a lot of experience back from a team that finished sixth in Class 4A last season.
“We are looking good,” Sand said. “We have a good group — a strong group of seniors. Lots of senior leadership this year.”
Aspen next plays Thursday when it hosts Vail Christian.
The Basalt High School boys tennis team also opened its season Saturday, losing 4-3 to Fruita Monument’s junior varsity team at home. BHS swept the three singles matches and lost all four doubles matches. Like Aspen, Basalt is still tinkering with its lineup under new coach Sarah Varner.
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Aspen again is led by senior Christian Kelly at No. 1 singles and Alex Mosher at No. 2 singles. The pair held down those same spots last season, when the Skiers finished sixth overall.