A little nostalgia

GJ grads Davis, Meyer rekindle love for tennis at Taco Bell

Sam Meyer goes up for an overhead smash Friday during a men’s 4.5 doubles match at the Taco Bell Western Slope Open. Meyer and his partner, Jason Davis, left, played tennis together at Grand Junction High School more than 10 years ago and decided to team up again.



They have the same tennis rackets, even the same bag, as they did when they were still in high school.

Jason Davis and Sam Meyer decided to come out, rekindle some old memories and play in the Taco Bell Western Slope Open again.

“I maybe play a couple times a year,” Davis said. “I got an e-mail from Sam asking if I want to play. I had the weekend off so I said why not.

“We’ll see if Sam can carry me. I’m excited. He’s been playing, I know.”

Meyer shook his head no.

“I thought you were playing in that 4.0 league?” Davis said.

Meyer shook his head no again.

“I guess, not,” Davis said with a laugh. “We’ll give it a shot. Hopefully I haven’t lost too much, but we’ll see.”

Davis has been hitting against a ball machine to prepare for the tournament since the duo decided to enter.

“I’m hoping we can do well, but it’s more for fun and doing it again,” Davis said. “We’ll enjoy some nostalgic moments I guess.”

Although they’ve only played sparingly in a United States Tennis League in recent years, Davis and Meyer won their first-round match Friday just before the rain came pouring down. The 1999 Grand Junction High School graduates defeated Ed Andrews and Derek Vigil 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the men’s 4.5 doubles round robin.

“Mainly I want to do this for exercise,” Meyer said. “Growing up, this was a really big event. It’s nice to come back and support. That’s why Jason (came) over to play.”

Meyer and Davis, both 31, were No. 4 doubles partners as freshmen and remain close friends. Jason was a co-best man in Sam’s wedding in October 2008 and Sam will be a co-best man in Jason’s wedding next May.

Davis is a reporting analyst for Janus Capital Group in Denver.

Meyer is a project manager for his dad’s company, Shaw Construction.

Meyer is also playing with his wife, Liz (Herzog) Meyer. Liz, 28, is a 2002 Grand Junction High School graduate. She is playing in the Western Slope Open for the first time since high school, she said.

Liz continues to work remotely for Jackson Hole Land Trust. They have one son, Beck, who is 16 months old.

“On a whim, we decided to come and play,” Sam said.

They recently moved back to Grand Junction. They’ve lived in Chicago, Denver and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

“Grand Junction for some reason is a bigger tennis community,” Liz said. “You’d like to get on a team, but it’s not as accessible in the other places we lived.

“We’re definitely not playing the caliber we did in high school, but it’s a sport you can always pick it up. It’s like riding a bike. You can go out and play a few matches. It’s nice to have a lifelong sport.”

They won a mixed 4.0 doubles semifinal match Friday morning to advance to the finals.

“I still go out there and I don’t want to lose,” Liz said.

“I’m glad we haven’t got into a fight yet,” Sam said.

TACO TIDBITS

Open Draw: Play began in the men’s and women’s open singles draw on Friday.

Colorado Mesa University student-athlete Brason Hollabaugh, 21, advanced to the men’s semifinals with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over future Mesa teammate Luke Ledebur.

“I’ve hit with Luke quite a few times already,” Hollabaugh said. “It’s hard to get into a routine against him. He plays a different style.”

Hollabaugh plays five-time champion Jerry Lockwood in the semifinals today. It is Hollabaugh’s first semifinal appearance since he lost to Lockwood in 2009.

“I’m excited,” Hollabaugh said. “Jerry is fun to play. He gets a ton of balls back and is smart. He makes you beat him.”

The other semifinalists are Mark Ledebur and Dan MacDonald.

Aimee Basinski, who won the girls 18-under singles title, won her first-round match in the women’s open singles draw, defeating Lisa Poudrier 6-1, 6-2. Basinski plays Merilyn McCombs in the semifinals. Whitney Bridger plays Wendy Littge in the other semifinal.

Fourth title: Carolena Campos, 14, won her fourth title of the 2012 Western Slope Open on Friday. She teamed with her brother, Gabriel, to win the brother/sister 18-under doubles title, defeating Joe and Hannah Englebrecht 6-1, 6-0.

Carolena won the girls 14-under singles, 16-under singles and 14-under doubles title earlier this week. Tayvia Voytilla was her doubles partner.


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