Fruita No. 3 duo wins before rain falls at state
DENVER — Katie Vidmar and Tayvia Voytilla admitted to a couple of extra butterflies while warming up for their first-round match in Thursday’s opening round of the Class 5A girls state tennis tournament.
Those nerves quickly went away as the Fruita Monument No. 3 doubles team quickly dispatched its opponents from Rocky Mountain 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the late-afternoon quarterfinals.
Vidmar, a senior, is playing her second year of prep tennis and her first as a varsity player. She’s kind of the big sister to Voytilla, a freshman.
“We have so much fun together,” Vidmar said.
“From the first day we played together I could tell we clicked,” Voytilla said.
But just being here wasn’t enough for them or the Wildcats’ other state-qualifying team, the No. 4 duo of Alyssa Bohrer and Amy Espinoza.
“We all four decided (qualifying) is not enough,” Vidmar said.
Bohrer and Espinoza will have to wait until this morning to finish their first-round match. They won the first set over Hannah Rossing and Paula Malprichet of Chaparral and trailed 4-1 in the second before play was suspended for the day when rain began falling shortly after 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, Hannah Keeling could almost taste the victory.
Up 4-1 in the third set of her opening-round No. 3 singles match, the Central senior only needed a couple of shots to close out the match and advance to the quarterfinals at Gates Tennis Center.
Instead, she ran into an opponent who wouldn’t give up.
Keeling ended up falling to Liberty’s Caroline Macdonald 6-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Now she plays the waiting game, hoping Macdonald can win this morning’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches. That would be the only way Keeling can reach the playback round and still earn a state place.
A four-year varsity player for the Warriors, this was Keeling’s first season as a singles player.
“It was (a career goal),” she said of earning a state tournament berth.
Despite hitting some practice shots Wednesday at Gates Tennis Center, the tournament proved to be a bit of an eye-opener.
“It’s bigger than I thought it would be,” she said of the spectacle of playing with the state’s best.
“She had a tough time getting focused all match,” Central coach Kathy Elliott said.
Despite the loss, “I’m still definitely grateful to get here,” Keeling said.
“We’re proud of her,” Elliott said, adding she hopes Keeling can get in a few more matches to cap her prep career.
First-round matches resume at 8 a.m. today, followed a half-hour after completion by the semifinals. Those will precede the first round of playback matches.
Alexander advances in 4A
In the Class 4A state meet in Pueblo, Montrose No. 2 singles player Kellyn Alexander was the only area player to win her first-round match. Alexander, a junior, defeated sophomore Sarah Brown of Pueblo County 6-3, 6-4.
In other 4A singles matches: Montrose junior Alyssa Arellano lost 6-1, 6-1 to Centaurus senior Glenna Gee-Taylor; and Hotchkiss sophomore Jessie Holt lost 6-1, 6-0 to Cheyenne Mountain sophomore Jessica Metz.
In 4A first-round doubles matches: Cedaredge’s Bailey Walker, a senior, and Ali Pfenneberger, a sophomore, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Holy Family seniors Annie Aylward and Carolynn Kozlowski; and Montrose’s Kailee Quinn, a senior, and Meg Frantz, a sophomore, lost 6-0, 7-6 to senior Katie Minnihan and sophomore Meghan Donohoe of Centaurus.