Family time on the court

Gossages top Flemings at McDonald's Family Classic

Aaron Gossage returns a shot Saturday night as his dad, Tim, looks on during the Gossages’ 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Dave and Sarah Fleming in the father-son/daughter final at the McDonald’s Family Summer Classic.

The father-son team was just a little better than the father-daughter team.

Tim and Aaron Gossage have pretty much owned the McDonald’s Family Summer Classic tennis tournament, but their latest title was as tough and tight as they come.

Playing in the father-son/daughter finals Saturday night, the Gossages dropped the first set 6-4 to Dave and Sarah Fleming. But Team Gossage roared back to win the next set 6-3 and the third set 6-2 to win the title.

“It was frustrating at times, but we pulled through,” said Aaron, who will be a senior at Grand Junction High School.

The match was highly competitive, but the match embraced the tournament’s theme of fun and family.

“It’s so fun. It’s really a treat because we don’t get to do it very often,” Tim said about playing tennis with his son.

The Gossages also won the father-son division at the Taco Bell Western Slope Open in July.

“It’s really nice because we don’t play that much,” Aaron said. “We’re both good players, so it’s nice to play together instead of against each other.”

The match was going the Flemings’ way early. After taking the first set, they went up a break at 1-0 in the second, but the Gossages won the next four games.

Tim, who played in college at Colorado Mesa, said tennis is always a big part of his relationship with his son.

“We talk tennis all the time. We talk spin, we talk strategy, we talk about everything,” he said.

After dropping the first set, the two had a strategy session.

They started going more at Sarah, who will be a Fruita Monument freshman this year.

The 14-year-old was repeatedly up to the challenge, hitting crisp ground strokes and making Team Gossage work for every point. With her dad at the net, Team Fleming kept it close until the third set.

For Dave, it’s always fun to be able to team up with his daughter.

“I don’t compete much anymore, so it’s great to be able to play with her,” he said. “The Gossages are great. Just to get one set off them was nice.”

Dave, who is the CMU volleyball coach, let out several frustrated grunts after missing shots.

“I get frustrated with myself,” he said with a smile. “She’s very level-headed, and I’m kind of a hothead, so we’re a good pair.”

“It’s really fun because we’re both really competitive,” Sarah said.

After a pair of double faults by her dad, Sarah went to the baseline and gave her dad a pep talk, and they slapped hands.

“I just told him, ‘One point at a time,’ ” she said.

Aaron dominated with his powerful first serve as the match progressed, and the Gossages methodically pulled away to pick up the win.

In other divisions, Brian and Brityn Ballard defeated Janae and Randy Hurshman 6-2, 6-3 to win the Mixed Family High School division.

The rest of the divisions were played in a round-robin format.

Mary Ann Wilson and Olivia Aslan won three matches to claim the Mixed Family and Friends division, and Brandon Lovato and Darren Spomer won the Open Mixed division.

Sandra and Brandon Miller of Delta pulled off a double by winning three matches to claim the Mixed Family Junior division, then came back later Saturday night to win the Open Family division.

The Open Family came down to a match between the Millers and Bret and August Pomrenke.

In the open division, the Millers rallied from a 5-2 deficit to win the first set 7-5. They then took the match with a 6-4 win in the second set.

For 11-year-old Brandon, he said it’s fun playing with his mom, and they prepared for the tournament.

“We play a lot,” he said. “It’s fun playing with her.”


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