Aspen High girls tennis opens season at four serving love
Aspen Times Staff Writer
While snow still blankets tennis courts around Aspen, the Aspen High girls tennis team has opened its spring season with four-straight wins in as many days.
On Saturday, the AHS girls defeated Montrose, 5-2, for the first time in school history. Later that day, also at Montrose, the AHS girls beat Cedaredge 4-3.
Then, back in Aspen at the Maroon Creek Club on Monday, Aspen beat Hotchkiss 5-2, followed by a 6-1 victory over Paonia on Tuesday, also indoors at the Maroon Creek Club.
“We’ve started out great – winning four matches in four days,” said Aspen coach Sherril Kerr. “And that’s without Laura Gordon.”
Gordon, a senior at AHS and Aspen’s No. 1 singles player, won the Class 4A state tournament at the No. 1 singles level in 2000, and finished runner-up last season. Gordon is expected to rejoin the team this weekend for two matches in Steamboat, against Steamboat High on Friday, then against Denver’s Thompson Valley on Saturday.
“This weekend will be the test,” Kerr said. “Montrose was a test, but this may be even tougher.”
Nevertheless, Kerr predicted a strong showing this season.
“We’re going to win regionals and we’re going to come in higher than fourth place at states. That’s the goal,” she said. Last season, the Aspen girls team finished fourth at the state tourney.
Melissa Marcus, a recent junior transfer to AHS, has won three of four matches to date at the No. 2 singles spot. “She’s a delightful addition,” Kerr said. “A surprise I didn’t know I was going to get.”
Freshmen Michelle Koehler and Teige Muhlfield, and senior Becca Cote, have been switching around at the other singles spots, Kerr said, with Koehler recording the only win. “They’ve all had really close matches,” Kerr said.
Aspen’s No. 1 doubles pairing of sophomore Alex Leddy and junior Nicole Hernandez won all four of their matches to open the season. And Aspen’s No. 3 doubles pair of sophomore Courtney Sheeley and freshmen Jeniffer Leddy won their last three matches, Kerr said.
At No. 4 doubles, sophomore Meredith Hanrahan and junior Christina Schulter have won the two matches they’ve played together, Kerr said. “No. 4 has been changing each match, but they’ve done well together,” she said.
At the No. 3 doubles spot, junior Jacqueline Pearlstone has been playing with a variety of players while her regular partner, junior Brittany Biebl, was competing in the freestyle Junior Olympics in Maine. Last season, Pearlstone and Biebl combined for a fourth-place finish at the state championships. “So I look for them to improve on that this year,” Kerr said.
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When mountain culture enthusiasts and athletes descend on Vail for the 20th annual Mountain Games from June 7-12, they will carry on a tradition that dates back to the 1970s in Eagle County and was once deemed illegal.