Promising start for Skiers tennis
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. For a young team missing its three best singles players, this wasn’t as bad as it might look. Aspen’s boys tennis team earned only one win in seven matches Wednesday in its season opener at Grand Junction, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.Grand Junction has nearly three times the enrollment of Aspen, and has perennially been a 5A tennis power – all of which made it easy for Skiers coach Sherrill Kerr to extract positives from the performances of her players.”I was proud of all of them,” Kerr said. “It gave us a laundry list of things that we need to work on, and the nice thing is that the kids could see that. It really made sense to them. They were able to realize what some of their weaknesses are, instead of us coaches just saying it to them.”Aspen’s lone win came from its No. 3 doubles team of seniors Doug Schuster and Sean Trotter – both of whom were playing in their first varsity match.Schuster and Trotter opened with a convincing 6-2 win in the first set, then had to go the distance. They lost the second, 7-5, then won the third set tiebreaker, 7-6.No. 4 doubles Nic Broeking and Michael Ward nearly pulled out a win, losing in the tiebreaker after forcing a third set with a 7-5 win in the second. The first set was also close, with Broeking and Ward losing, 7-5.Aspen’s three singles players didn’t fare as well, all losing in straight sets.Brian Steinhurst, playing in his first high school match for Aspen in three seasons after spending two years training at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., lost at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-3.Junior Kyle Feuer struggled in his first set at No. 2, losing 6-1 before rebounding to force a 12th game in a 7-5 loss in the second set.Junior Paul Young arguably turned in the best singles performance at No. 3, losing 6-4, 6-4.Aspen’s top two doubles teams also lost in straight sets. The No. 1 pairing of senior Chris Taylor and freshman Michael Willsky fell 6-2, 6-5, and the No. 2 doubles team of senior Remy Pearlstone and Steven Boenning lost, 6-3, 6-3.”Just a lot of competitive matches that could have gone either way,” Kerr said. “For a little 3A school that plays in 4A playing a big 5A school like Grand Junction, I was impressed with how they handled themselves.”Aspen next plays Saturday at Cortez.Nate Peterson’s e-mail is email@example.com
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There might be part of Hailey Swirbul that is finally beginning to believe she belongs. The 22-year-old cross-country skier is coming off quite a stretch with the U.S. ski team, one that includes her first career World Cup podium and a successful go in the notorious Tour de Ski stage race.