Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Aspen girls tennis heads to regionals as postseason commences
And so it begins.
Only a few months after the spring season got underway, the postseason is here and I couldn’t be more excited. The reward for battling through what can sometimes be a tedious regular season is the thrill of the playoffs and with that the agony of defeat or the overwhelming joy of victory.
First up will be the Aspen and Basalt High School girls tennis teams. They compete Wednesday and Thursday at the Class 3A regional tournament in Grand Junction, hosted by Delta High School. The top two players or teams from each bracket will make the state championships, held May 9 to 11 in Greeley.
“I’m feeling good. The girls have been playing great,” AHS coach Steve Sand said late Monday. “We’ve just been working and setting up for this week. Just see what happens.”
Two years ago Aspen did the unthinkable by winning the regional championship as a team, snapping a 12-year run by perennial favorite Steamboat Springs. The Sailors just edged the Skiers last spring, and the two teams will likely battle it out for supremacy again this week.
Senior Mary Williams is back at No. 1 singles for Aspen, while sophomore Macy Hopkinson will play at No. 2 singles and junior Karina Keller at No. 3 singles.
Aspen’s No. 1 doubles team at regionals will be Bliss Pekkala and Addy Walson. From there, the No. 2 doubles team will be Olivia Burkley and Stef Wojcik, the No. 3 team Quinn Ramberg and Virginia Tassi and the No. 4 team Rose Becker and Sadie Bakyo.
Williams and Hopkinson (at No. 3) both went to state at singles last year. In fact, Williams has been to state at No. 1 singles ever since she was a freshman. Pekkala and Walson made state last year at No. 2 doubles together.
Basalt, playing varsity for only the second season in program history, is hoping to qualify its first player to the state tournament. The Longhorns recently beat Grand Junction’s junior varsity team in what counted as Basalt’s first match victory as a program.
EyEing the rest…
After tennis, it will be the Aspen girls golf team’s time to shine when it plays at regionals early next week. State track is May 16 to 18 in Lakewood.
For the traditional team sports, this is the last week of the regular season. Most of the playoff brackets will come out either Sunday or Monday through CHSAANow.com.
Aspen girls soccer and girls lacrosse still look really good for a top-five seed, which would set them up nicely for a deep postseason run. Both teams are all but guaranteed at least one home playoff game, if not more.
Basalt girls soccer and Aspen boys lacrosse continue to sit on the playoff bubble, but looking at RPI I think both teams have a great chance of getting into the postseason. AHS boys lacrosse could still snag a home playoff game if it all comes together.
Both baseball teams are basically playing for next season.
If you’re looking for some home games this week, the big one will be Aspen girls soccer hosting Basalt on Friday night in a non-league game. Big RPI game for the Longhorns. AHS boys lacrosse should get two more home games, one Friday and one Saturday, to close out its regular season. Girls lacrosse could also wrap up an undefeated regular season Saturday against Telluride.
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One of the most significant moments in Crockett Williams’ football life came when he suffered a concussion. It was freshman year, and the now 29-year-old Coal Ridge High School alumnus was sidelined after getting his cage rattled.