Weather wreaks havoc at Class 5A tennis tourney
Inclement weather had high school tennis players coming and going all day Thursday, but the experienced players worked through it.
Grand Junction High School seniors Luke Ledebur, Gabe Campos and Jeff Hansen survived two rain delays in the Class 5A Region 3 tournament at Colorado Mesa University’s Elliott Tennis Center to advance to the region finals.
Grand Junction advanced everyone to the finals and leads the tournament with 56 points through the semifinal round. Legend is second with 45 and Fruita Monument is third with 17. Central has two points.
Many of the playback matches were played under the lights Thursday night.
Ledebur completed his first-round match at the university facility before the first rain storm hit. The Tigers’ No. 2 singles player defeated Standley Lake’s Ryan Pliquette 6-0, 6-0.
He started his semifinal match at Mesa, but had to finish it at the Grand Junction Indoor Tennis Center.
“Going into the indoor facility helped me,” Ledebur said. “I didn’t get as much depth on the ball as I wanted to with the wind (outdoors). Playing in the bubble helped because there was no wind or anything.
“Anytime it rains, anything can change and you have to regroup. Regardless of conditions, you have to go out and get the job done.”
Ledebur, seeded second, defeated Central’s Drake Giese 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.
Grand Junction’s Gabe Campos and Jeff Hansen had a first-round bye and didn’t get on the court until mid-afternoon at the university.
“In baseball, we have rainouts, or games that are wet, rainy and cold,” Hansen said. “You have to be ready for anything and realize your opponents have to play in the same conditions, too. If you let it get to your head, it can hurt you for sure.”
Shortly after winning the first set, the duo had to move to the indoor facility.
“Jeff and I haven’t played at an indoor facility in like two years, so it took us a couple games to get used to it,” Campos said. “Looking up at the bubble on the serve was difficult, but I got used to it.”
The Tigers’ No. 3 duo advanced to the finals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rock Canyon.
Legend, located in Parker, advanced all three singles players and two doubles teams.
Fruita Monument’s No. 2 and 3 doubles teams went three sets with Legend in the semifinals before advancing to the finals.