Aspen girls tennis wins two regional titles
The Aspen Times
The Aspen High School girls tennis team knows its way around the courts at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
The Skiers also know their way to the top of the Regional Championship brackets.
The Aspen girls tennis team won two regional titles in Grand Junction in the two-day championships that wrapped up late Friday night.
“The tournament went well,” Aspen head coach Scott Dorais said. “It always could go better, but we did end up third as a team.”
And the Skiers were just one more match victory away from second-place Montrose. Steamboat Springs won the regional title.
Eleven teams participated, chasing the first- and second-place finishes that qualified the tennis players for the State Championships next weekend.
“Really, our girls did very well,” Dorais said of the challenging competition at regionals.
Aspen senior Hayley Hopkinson won the regional championship at No. 2 singles.
Teammates Sadie Alpern and Kelsey Ward also won a regional title for the Skiers — at No. 2 doubles.
“I can’t remember the last time … we’ve had two Aspen regional champions,” Dorais said, adding that the Skiers had a very stable lineup this season — a help for all the players.
Hopkinson won her quarterfinal and semifinal matches in convincing fashion at No. 2 singles.
In the championship match, Dorais said, Hopkinson played the No. 2 from Steamboat Springs, who had beaten Hopkinson in three sets earlier in the season.
“Hayley got her in three sets this time,” Dorais said. “She played one of the best matches I’ve ever seen her play.”
He said Hopkinson was steady from start to finish.
“She never had a letdown. She was focused with good energy,” the AHS head coach said.
At No. 2 doubles, the Aspen duo of Alpern and Ward powered through the quarterfinals and semifinals.
They beat Steamboat Springs 7-5, 6-4 for the regional title in a classic, well-played doubles match, Dorais said.
“They were more aggressive and they were better at the net,” Dorais said. “They played great offensive tennis.”
He said the regional championship match was their “match of the year.”
The Skiers nearly qualified the No. 4 doubles team, seniors Mary Landis and Hanna Kaufman.
“Those girls played as well as we could have asked,” Dorais said of the seniors, who fell just a match short of a playback opportunity for state. They were on the court for the final match of regionals, battling for third place.
“It was a great match. The whole team was up watching them. Everyone was watching,” Dorais said.
The Skiers battled into a third set, eventually falling 6-4.
“It was really emotional after that match,” Dorais said. “Those two seniors … three years in the program.”
Aspen added a fourth-place finish at regionals from No. 3 singles player Caroline DeRosa.
“It really was a fantastic season,” Dorais said. “Great group of girls.”
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Katelyn Maley was the first across the finish line on Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, winning the Class 3A girls state championship in 18 minutes, 39 seconds. She came in more than 34 seconds ahead of second place.