No love for AHS tennis at states
Aspen High’s No. 1 singles player, senior Alex Leddy, recorded the only match win for the Skiers at the Class 4A state tournament in Pueblo over the weekend, a minor first-round victory in an otherwise humbling event for the local racqueteers.
Leddy, one of seven AHS girls to qualify for the prestigious tourney, beat an opponent from Ralston Valley in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, using all three sets to do so. In her second-round match, Leddy, who has played in the state tourney all four years, fell to a player from Kent Denver.
Aspen’s No. 3 doubles pair, Maggie Hoffman and Teagan Walter, advanced to the second round of the tournament by way of an injury to an opponent, but lost their second-round match on Friday.
Aspen’s No. 1 and 2 doubles pairs – Caitlin Dunn and Reilly Gallagher, and Baylee Zwart and Robin Landis, respectively – lost their opening-round matches.
After capturing a third straight Class 4A Western Slope regional tournament title on May 8, the Aspen team ended its season at the state level much like last year: with disappointment tempered by optimism.
“It’s certainly survival of the fittest down there,” said Aspen coach Sherril Kerr.
“Caitlin and Alex had been to states before but everyone else was new to the state scene and they didn’t really know what really tough competition looks like. Now, they know. That’s something you can’t teach them, they have to see for themselves. And hopefully we’ll be able to build from that.”
Kerr said Leddy’s first-round win “was a big thing for her.”
“No. 1 singles is the hardest position to play – everyone who’s there at No. 1 singles is very focused – and she handled it with her classic grace and style. She probably played the match of her career against [a Kent Denver opponent]; she just played beautifully. She didn’t win but we’re very pleased with how she played.”
Aspen’s No. 1 and 2 doubles teams, Kerr said, “were facing a big step up and they just weren’t able to swing it.”
Next year promises another strong showing from Aspen, Kerr said, as up to nine of the team’s 11 varsity positions could be filled with seniors.
“But it’s kind of a good news, bad news situation,” she said. “Good news for next year, bad news the next.”
Kerr said the team plans to continue playing through the summer with Aspen’s summer program. Kerr, in addition to roles as AHS girls and boys tennis head coach and piano teacher, is also the director and head pro of the Aspen Golf and Tennis Club (site of the new clay courts at the municipal golf course).
“Hopefully, the girls will play all summer and work on some things,” she said, “so we can reload.”
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