Central’s Basinski now using her head, and her game, to win at No. 1 singles
Aimee Basinski used to be able to smack a forehand shot past her opponents.
Now, the Central High School sophomore is learning to play tennis with a little more touch and strategy.
She’s made big strides this season, earning the top seed at No. 1 singles for the seven-team Class 5A Region 6 tournament today and Friday at Mesa State College’s Elliott Tennis Center. The Warriors will compete against Fruita Monument, Grand Junction, Castle View, Eaglecrest, Grandview and Highlands Ranch.
“She’s maturing,” Central assistant coach David Elliott said. “She’s come a long way in respecting the game of tennis. She’s beginning to understand her opponent is there to challenge her.”
“She is able to control herself,” Central coach Kathy Elliott said. “Part of the game is you’re going to get close calls you think are bad calls. She’s matured and realized that is part of the game.”
Basinski started playing competitive tennis when she was 10 years old, but after playing several junior tournaments every year, she was riddled with injuries.
She stepped away from the game for two years, but returned in time for her freshman year of high school and claimed the top singles position.
“As a freshman, it is so nerve-racking to play No. 1 singles,” Basinski said. “There is a lot of pressure on you. It’s your first time playing high school tennis and you’re not used to it.”
Determined, she recommitted to the game and was more prepared for her sophomore season, but had a rough start.
Basinski started off this season losing her first two matches in the Western Slope Invitational, but came back and won three matches.
“It was hard going into it, not having a match under our belts,” she said. “The last three matches, I got my game together and thought about what I was doing and that set the tone for the season.”
Since then, she’s won 10 of 11 matches heading into regionals.
“My mental game has been the No. 1 thing,” Basinski said. “I’ve worked on my mental game and that has really helped.”
Now, Basinski (13-3) attempts to qualify for the Class 5A state championships for the first time. The top two singles players and doubles teams at each position qualify for state.
“She’s going to have to be offensive,” Kathy Elliott said. “She will have to take the game to her opponent. Dave has her working on a few things, we’re trying to fine-tune.”
Basinski will likely have to defeat Fruita Monument senior Janine Kirtland or Grand Junction senior Maddy Hayduk again to qualify for state.
“They’ll be my toughest matches,” Basinski said. “I really need to stay on my game and not think about anything else. I can’t let being the No. 1 seed get to my head at all.”
Class 4A Region 8
Delta twin sisters Alaisa and Asiala Melgoza not only look alike, they play an identical style of tennis.
“They play tennis all year long,” Delta coach Christina Curtis said. “The other girls are in awe of them.”
The juniors, who played No. 1 doubles together last season, hope to qualify for state for the first time at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively.
It won’t be easy. Twelve schools will compete for two state tournament spots at each position in the regional tournament today and Friday at Canyon View Park.
One of those schools is Durango, which moved down to Class 4A this season.
“I feel good about it, but the region is tougher than in years past with Durango,” Curtis said. “We’ve had some struggles this season, but everyone is playing at their full potential.”