Kayne, Skiers best Vail Mountain
While she didn’t make things easy for herself or her coach in Tuesday’s match with Vail Mountain School, Aspen No. 1 singles player Demetra Kayne can’t complain about the result.In her first season as the Skiers’s top player, the junior bested VMS sophomore Stephanie Miletich in a tiebreaker, 10-4. Aspen defeated the Gore Rangers in its regular-season debut, 5-2.”I’m not really a competitive person, but when a match is that close, it makes it better when you win,” said Kayne. “I was a little intimidated. Her serves were 1,000 mph.”Kayne built a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker – a race to 10 points – relying on a double fault and two unforced errors from her opponent. Miletich climbed back in with three consecutive points, but found herself trailing after yet another service error. On the ensuing volley, Kayne, seeing Miletich inch closer to the net, executed a perfect drop shot that landed over her opponent’s head and clipped the end line. She completed a similar feat seven shots later to seal the victory. “She was very consistent and I made a few too many errors on my first serve and forehand,” said Miletich, a first-year VMS player who recently moved from Fort Collins.Kayne admitted she suffered from pre-match nerves after warming up with Miletich – nerves she said don’t usually subside until the second set – but she maintained her composure and took the first set, 6-4. Kayne trailed 3-1 but rallied with three straight wins; she broke Miletich in the deciding game. The two players traded breaks through the first four games of the second set, until Kayne’s victory in game five, which she clinched with a powerful backhand up the line. Miletich then rebounded with four straight wins. She outlasted Kayne during a four-deuce seventh game to go ahead, 4-3, and rode her powerful serve for two convincing wins to close out the set. She could not, however, maintain her momentum. “I felt my serve was strong throughout the match, but that was the only thing I could control,” Miletich said. “It was my first game on clay. I don’t think it was a humongous advantage for her, but it did play a role.”Miletich never felt comfortable on the Maroon Creek Club’s clay surface, she said. Her feet were sliding, which threw her timing off. She tried to compensate but often wound up with her racket out of position. As a result, many of her shots from both the baseline and net sailed wide. Kayne, a No. 3 singles player and one of two Skiers remaining from last year’s squad, took advantage. She tested Miletich by varying the speed on her shots and hitting balls to both sides of the court. And while the pace was erratic and both players were far from mid-season form, Kayne said she was grateful to come out on top. “She always seems to find a way to win,” said first-year Aspen head coach Scott Dorais. “She stays relaxed and showed a lot of poise. She’s going to do a great job as our No. 1 this season.” Aspen No. 2 singles Robin Landis followed Kayne’s pattern. After a 6-2 first-set win, she dropped the second set, 3-6. She rebounded, however, with a 10-8 tiebreaker win. Skiers No. 3 singles Jordan Meyer had an easier time, disposing of her opponent in two sets, 6-1 and 6-3.Junior varsity players Chelsea Hanle and Rachel Sher, filling in for Aspen’s No. 1 doubles team of Haylen Gregory and Julianne Davis, performed admirably in a 6-3, 6-3 defeat, Dorais said. Aspen’s No. 2 doubles won in a tiebreaker, 10-8, and No. 4 doubles earned its team a point with a straight set victory, 6-1, 6-4. “We threw [Hanle and Sher] into the fire, and they held their own and had a good time,” Dorais said. “I’m optimistic and looking forward to a good season. Tonight’s win was a nice start.”Jon Maletz’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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This decision is part of a game plan to focus on giant slalom and slalom in the early part of season. Shiffrin will likely also pass on a speed stop in Val d’Isere from Dec. 18-20.