Briefs: Basalt tennis plays first varsity match; AJH girls win at nationals |

Briefs: Basalt tennis plays first varsity match; AJH girls win at nationals

The Basalt High School girls tennis team made its varsity debut on Wednesday with a match at host Fruita, losing 7-0.

The BHS girls tennis program was created last year, playing exclusively on junior varsity. They made the fulltime jump to varsity this spring.

Despite the result, BHS coach Diana Elliott was pleased with the effort.

“For such a young team with not a lot of match experience, these ladies performed well,” Elliott said. “What the score does not reflect is the tough matches played by all of the BHS team in their first ever match plays. Many of these girls had picked up the racquet for the first time this spring.”

Freshman Mari Elliott looks to be the team’s No. 1 singles player this spring. She played a competitive match against Fruita, losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-7. Senior Leslye Benetiz played No. 2 singles and junior Helen Salas, who would normally play at No. 1 doubles, played at No. 3 singles.

The Longhorns unofficially won a match against Fruita, winning at No. 4 doubles. However, the match was officially a forfeit in favor of Fruita as Basalt’s Yosi Melendez, who also played No. 2 doubles, was allowed to step in and play at No. 4 as well because of an illness on the team. Players can only play at one position per match.

Basalt is next scheduled to host Paonia at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at Crown Mountain Park, the first of four scheduled home matches this season. BHS is also scheduled to host Fruita on April 25 and both Cedaredge and Aspen on April 27.

Also Wednesday, the Aspen High School girls tennis team lost 4-3 at Grand Junction. Aspen’s wins came at No. 1 doubles, No. 2 doubles and No. 4 doubles.

The Skiers will host Grand Junction on Thursday on their home courts.

Aspen Junior Hockey girls 16U AA team wins first game at national championships

The Aspen Leafs girls 16U AA hockey team opened up play Thursday at the 2018 USA Hockey National Championships, beating the Livonia Knights in a shootout in their first pool play game at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts, near Boston.

Aspen trailed 1-0 after two periods before scoring the equalizer early in the third period via an even-strength goal from Laney Martens.

The game eventually went to a shootout, where the only goal was scored by Aspen’s Lilli Armstrong. Livonia was 0 for 5 in the shootout, while Aspen went 1 for 4.

Aspen will play its second game in pool play Friday morning against the East Coast Wizards, the top-ranked team in the country. Game time is scheduled for 11:40 a.m. on the East Coast.

The Wizards beat the Highland Park Falcons 2-0 on Thursday.

Each of the 16 teams is scheduled to play three pool play games, with the top eight advancing to the elimination tournament. The championship game is scheduled for Monday morning.