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Preps roundup: Aspen girls tennis sending two to state

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Maggie Brown and Kayla Hansen showed some resilience at Thursday’s and Friday’s 4A regional tennis tournament in Grand Junction.

After a humbling loss to top-seeded Steamboat Springs in the semifinals, Aspen’s No. 1 doubles duo rebounded with three straight playback-bracket wins, culminating with a straight-sets victory over Vail Mountain School. The win helped Brown and Hansen clinch their first berth in the upcoming state championships.

The duo will be Aspen’s lone representatives in Pueblo next Thursday through Saturday.

“That’s hard. You get knocked out the main draw and you’re disappointed,” Skiers head coach Scott Dorais said Friday night. “To their credit, they bounced back.”

The girls jumped out to a three-game lead in their first set with Steamboat, then lost 12 consecutive games.

All was not lost, however.

Because Steamboat beat VMS in the finals, every team that lost to Steamboat was given the chance to compete in the playback bracket for the right to battle Vail for the second and final state-qualifying spot.

Brown and Hansen seized their opportunity. They won two matches to set up a showdown with Vail – a team that topped them in three tight sets during their only regular-season meeting April 5.

Things were different this time around.

“They jumped out in front like 3-0 in the first set and hung on to that lead,” Dorais said. “They didn’t play great tennis, but they played good enough and kept enough balls in play and kept enough pressure on Vail. Vail, for lack of a better word, choked under the pressure.

“They played much better in that second set. … They’ve got good chemistry together. they worked hard and found a way to get a bunch of balls back over the net.”

The duo’s win helped Aspen finish fourth in the team standings, behind Steamboat, VMS and Montrose, Dorais said.

While they didn’t book trips to state, other Skiers helped contribute some valuable team points.

No. 3 doubles players Ilona Schwarz and Jacqueline Jones battled back from a loss in their first match with three straight wins to finish third in the region. At No. 4 doubles, Brooke Altman and Sydney Wells won their first two matches after receiving a first-round bye before dropping two straight and being eliminated from state contention. They wound up fourth.

The Skiers’ No. 2 doubles squad of Hanna Feuer and Liz Seubert also won their first two matches, but wound up losing to VMS in playback action.

At No. 3 singles, Melissa Carr earned a berth in the semifinals after two wins, but lost a three-setter with a Glenwood Springs player late Thursday night. That player lost her following match, so Carr missed out on a chance to compete in the playback.

“With the exception of No. 1 singles, every girl won at least one match,” Dorais said. “The girls worked pretty hard over Thursday and Friday and had some good camaraderie. It was fun. Now, we have a long trip to Pueblo.”

Aspen finished fifth at regionals last year, but sent two doubles teams to the state championships.

Dorais said Brown and Hansen have the potential to make a run next week.

“If they go out there and play aggressive, they have as good a chance as anyone to do well,” the coach added. “Hopefully they’re not too nervous – they’ve already accomplished a lot this season. If they go out and play like they did the past couple of days, I think they’ll be successful.”

ASPEN – Liz Baty shot 50 to lead the Skiers girls golf team during Wednesday’s Aspen Invitational, which was shortened to nine holes because of inclement weather.

Michelle Argeros finished with 60, Makaela Richards 63 and Lauren Twohig 64 for Aspen, which wound up third with 173 points. Jessica Sinner carded a 40 to earn medalist honors and lead Fruita Monument (136) to the team title. Central (141) finished second.

The Skiers travel to Craig on Monday and Tuesday for the regional tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course.


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