Aspen High girls tennis cruises by Glenwood in first home match

Aspen's Ayla Potamkin competes Thursday against Glenwood Springs at Snowmass Club.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

Anna Citron’s success at No. 3 singles isn’t much of a surprise to Aspen High School girls tennis coach Lauren MacKay. The senior qualified for the state tournament at No. 2 doubles alongside Grace Ferguson last spring, but decided to try her hand swinging solo this season.

“She is definitely one of the girls on the team that cares the most,” MacKay said. “She is a captain and she has worked really, really hard in the offseason and is definitely one of the most committed to getting better. It’s really been fun to watch her get better.”

Citron is undefeated this season at No. 3 singles, including a 6-0, 6-3 win Thursday against visiting Glenwood Springs at Snowmass Club. The Skiers won the match, 6-1.

Aspen, in its second year under MacKay, is 4-2 in matches this season and returned five players who qualified for the Class 4A state tournament a season ago.

“The team as a whole is doing really well, but the Glenwood girls definitely came to play. They were really strong,” Citron said. “It’s just been going really well and I think our team is really close as a whole, which makes it stronger.”

Among the state returners this season is sophomore Mary Williams, who won regionals as a freshman at No. 1 singles. She lost in the first round of the state tournament, but is back this season again at No. 1 singles and only has one match loss this spring. Olivia Carr is at No. 2 singles this season, moving up from No. 3.

Another strength is the No. 1 doubles team of Olivia Bond and Alura Potamkin. The duo qualified for the state tournament last season at No. 3 doubles.

Ferguson is paired with Karina Keller at No. 2 doubles this season, while Bliss Pekkala and Olivia Burkley are at No. 3 doubles and Carson Campisi and Ayla Potamkin are at No. 4 doubles.

“Definitely happy with how we are doing,” MacKay said of the season so far. “We are looking at a lot of No. 1 seeds in regionals I think.”

The Skiers still have plenty of matches remaining before regionals, including a rematch with then-host Glenwood Springs on April 18. Thursday was the first of two home meets this season for Aspen, the other being next Thursday, April 13, against Grand Junction.

Aspen, which is competing in the newly formed Class 3A this season, will have its regional tournament May 5-6, hosted by Delta. Other regional teams will include Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Montezuma Cortez, Cedaredge, Vail Mountain and Paonia. The 3A state tournament is scheduled for May 11-13 in Greeley.

“It is totally the goal and I know it’s going to be 10 times harder being by myself out there rather than with a partner,” Citron said of her goal of returning to state, this time at singles. “Every chance I get, I’m just going to try and get better.”