Tigers’ growth spurt

GJ's young doubles teams key win over 'Cats

Grand Junction’s Carolena Campos returns a shot during her 6-2, 6-1 victory Tuesday over Lyric Fortson at No. 1 singles. The Tigers won the dual 5-2.



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Grand Junction’s Carolena Campos returns a shot during her 6-2, 6-1 victory Tuesday over Lyric Fortson at No. 1 singles. The Tigers won the dual 5-2.

Kiana Ziola was so happy, she started to cry.

The Grand Junction High School junior and her doubles partner, Aspen Coleman, rallied from a set down Tuesday to defeat Fruita Monument’s Sarah Cesark and Lyndsey Dempsey 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to clinch the Tigers’ 5-2 victory at Fruita Monument.

“It feels really good,” Ziola said, tears running down her cheek. “We’ve known each other since we were in sixth grade.”

That chemistry makes all the difference, Coleman said.

“It definitely helps,” Coleman said. “We don’t get frustrated with each other.”

It also helped them keep a positive attitude despite losing the first set.

“I always love beginning a new set,” Coleman said. “It’s a new start. The slate is clear.”

A couple of minutes later, the Tigers’ No. 4 doubles team of Jordin Early and Tawni Tubbs defeated Kelsi Barnett and Kayla Lyon 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

“Our two, three and four (doubles) are a young group experience-wise,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “I knew as the season progressed we’d get stronger and stronger, not only with our skill level but what we wanted them to do in terms of our doubles strategy. .

“This is a good showing today. It’s all about believing you can do some things. Now we just need to carry it over the next few weeks.”

Grand Junction’s Carolena Campos defeated Lyric Fortson 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Anne Hughes won 6-3, 6-4 at 
No. 2 singles.

Fruita Monument’s Bronte Hayward defeated Sierra Filutze 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 singles, and the 
No. 2 doubles team of Taylor Poudrier and Amanda Charles won 6-2, 6-2.

Fruita Monument defeated Grand Junction 5-2 earlier this season, but Tuesday’s dual was the one that counted toward the Southwestern League, Fruita coach Clint Davis said.

“There’s no way they lose to anybody else (in league),” Davis said. “Give them credit. They are always good under pressure. Their three and four doubles were sure tough.”

Fruita Monument now has four duals in four days, starting with a makeup dual today at Montrose.

Grand Junction has duals Friday and Saturday at Durango and Cortez before regionals.

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