Grand Junction No. 2 doubles team of Prinster, Pond finshes third
DENVER — Grand Junction High School girls tennis coach Carol Elliott has admitted she was not sure what to expect from the Tigers this season. Although it would be a young team, Elliott at least expected the Tigers to improve and display great resolve.
During the final day of the Class 5A state tournament, Elliott’s No. 2 doubles team of Margeaux Prinster and Kylie Pond exemplified that spirit perfectly.
Weathering a court change in the middle of the first set and a comeback bid by Fairview in the second set, Prinster and Pond capped an unexpectedly successful effort by the Tigers by capturing third place in the No. 2 doubles field with a gritty 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 win against the Fairview duo of Paris Hogan and Kelly Givens.
The win by Prinster and Pond helped the Tigers to finish in sixth place with 17 points.
“We persevered throughout the season,” Elliott said. “All the way through, we’ve had some ups and downs, but we’ve always come back strong. The fact that we can go out there and then the momentum is changing — and it changes a lot — to be able to withstand it is a great thing for the ladies.
“That tells you a lot about our team and what we have done this year.”
Overnight rains soaked the courts at the Gates Tennis Center and forced a slight delay to the start of Saturday’s matches.
Prinster and Pond were holding a 4-3 lead in the first set when water that had been slowly seeping through some cracks rendered the court unplayable.
After packing their bags and moving to a different court, Prinster and Pond held on to win the first set before facing more adversity in the second.
The Tigers’ duo held a 5-4 lead but were trailing 40-15, giving Fairview a very real chance of securing the set and perhaps forcing a third set. But Prinster and Pond recovered to seal the win and end Grand Junction’s weekend triumphantly.
“We tried not to think about (moving) because we were in the middle of our game. We wanted to stay in the point,” Pond said. “You play each point like it’s zero-zero and you have nothing to lose.”
Grand Junction’s top doubles team of Emmie Madison and Madison Gurley did not fare as well in the third-place match at No. 1 doubles, dropping a 6-2, 6-0 decision to the top team from Cherry Creek. Still, with the bulk of the roster expected to return next season, Elliott believes the Tigers’ performance at state could provide a huge stepping stone for the 2011 campaign.
“It’s great when you can come in here and see what it is all about,” Elliott said. “Our girls coming into the state tournament that first day, they weren’t nervous, they weren’t intimidated by anything, and a lot of that has to do with the experience they had in previous years.”
Steamboat Springs High School’s Kyle Swiggert took fourth at No. 2 singles, as did the No. 3 doubles team of Rachel Grubbs and Lauren Siegal.
Candice Krammer of Greeley West outlasted Swiggert 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. Thompson Valley’s Lexi Newgord and Emily Erickson beat Grubbs and Siegal 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.