Tennis: Fruita girls top Aspen
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Aspen girls tennis team is well acquainted with both tight and blowout wins. The Skiers finally met their match against Fruita Monument on Thursday afternoon.
Aspen’s five-game winning streak was snapped at the Maroon Creek Club as Fruita (1-0) defeated the host Skiers (5-1), 4-3, on senior day.
“Fruita is a tough matchup, one that we’ve struggled with in the past,” Skiers assistant coach Rob Simpson said. “All the girls knew they were tough, and from the first point we were ready to play.”
The afternoon started with good results in the No. 1 singles and doubles matches. Haley Hopkinson continued her strong play, dispatching Fruita’s Cassi Ahrens, 6-0, 6-0. The sophomore broke away from her typical baseline strategy and attacked the net with more frequency.
“Haley is just getting a little bit more confidence in her game, and she’s trusting in her shots a little bit more,” Simpson said. “That’s just helping her be more aggressive. Her being aggressive is going to turn into winning a lot of matches.”
Flynn Holman and Kayla Hansen faced a tough Fruita doubles team, but grinded out a 6-4, 6-1 win. The match was Holman’s first at No. 1 doubles.
“Flynn looked solid,” Simpson said. “We threw her into that position, and she was able to hold her own.”
Caroline DeRosa took her No. 3 singles match into a tiebreaker – the first of four matches to go to a third set Thursday. DeRosa lost the first set 6-4, but fought back to win the second, 7-5, and triumphed in the tiebreaker, 10-7.
“Caroline’s attitude is just really positive, and it’s evident on the court,” Simpson said. “She got to the third set and took care of business. She fought for every point and that was big.”
The losses started with Caroline Godfrey at No. 2 singles. After winning her first set, 6-3, she held a 4-1 lead in the second until her opponent stormed back to win, 7-5. Godfrey lost the tiebreaker, 10-6.
“That was a grinding match. It could’ve gone either way,” Simpson said. “It’s a tough one to swallow, but it’s definitely a learning experience to close out those closer matches.”
Two more doubles matches were decided in tiebreakers, each resulting in Aspen losses. The No. 4 doubles combination of Cheyenne Gorbitz and Caroline Boyd fell 6-4, 6-0.
“We came out ready to play and got the early lead, but it was a tough one to hold,” Simpson said. “Fruita is an experienced team and ended up winning the matches. They played better at crunch time.
“A lot of the tiebreakers came to the younger girls who need more match experience. Playing more matches and getting more matches like these will make us a better team.”
Aspen takes the court next at April 6’s Delta County Tournament.
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