Aspen’s Williams, No. 2 doubles team to play in third-place match at state
When Aspen High School sophomore Mary Williams faced Dawson senior Isha Banerjee in the first playback round of the No. 1 singles bracket at the Class 3A state tennis tournament on Friday in Greeley, it was a chance for Williams to finally get one on a neutral court.
The two had met a couple of times over the past two seasons, but always on Dawson’s fan-filled courts in Lafayette, where Banerjee used the home-court advantage to snag a pair of wins. Friday went a lot differently.
“We had played them before. Mary always has an epic match with this girl,” Aspen girls tennis coach Lauren MacKay said. “She won the first set 6-0 and she was on fire. Then the girl starts to play a little bit better, and Mary ends up winning the second set, 7-5. That was a really great match and she was playing great.”
The win helped propel Williams to Saturday’s 9 a.m. third-place match against Myiah Scott of Eaton. Williams also defeated Peak to Peak sophomore Trisha Somasundaram 6-2, 6-4, after beating Banerjee. Somasundaram had given tournament favorite Sammy Moore-Thomson, a Colorado Academy freshman, a battle in the semifinals before falling 6-4, 4-6, 0-6.
Moore-Thomson, who beat Williams 6-2, 6-0 in the second round Thursday, will play Steamboat Springs freshman Mae Thorp in the championship match Saturday. Williams beat Thorp in the regional finals last week in Grand Junction.
“It’s a great tournament for her because she is playing great and her side of the draw is so heavily weighted with the players,” MacKay said of Williams in the No. 1 singles bracket. “She’s on the bottom part of the bracket and it’s all of the good players. So she kind of got unlucky. Her second-round match was against a girl, a freshman from Colorado Academy, who is unbelievable.”
Aspen’s No. 2 doubles team of junior Grace Ferguson and freshman Karina Keller went 2-0 Thursday to make Friday’s semifinals, but fell 6-1, 6-1 to Cammy Lee and Elisa Dean of D’Evelyn. The Aspen duo battled back to beat Mead’s Emma Drouhard and Mandy Platt in the playback round, 6-1, 6-4.
Ferguson and Keller will face Dawson’s Allie Blank and Isabelle Shehan in Saturday’s third-place match.
“They were in every single game. A lot of the games went to deuces,” MacKay said of Ferguson’s and Keller’s semifinal loss. “I don’t think any team has been to the semis of a state tournament for a long time for Aspen. It’s really awesome. They’ve been playing well.”
Aspen’s No. 3 doubles team of sophomore Bliss Pekkala and freshman Olivia Burkley did not make the playback rounds after falling in the second round on Thursday. Aspen’s No. 3 singles player, senior Anna Citron, lost in the first round on Thursday.
The track at the Utah Olympic Park will be put to good use toward the tail end of 2022. The Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cups stop at the UOP from Nov. 28 through Dec. 4, and then the Luge World Cup from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.
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