In first year at singles, GJ’s McGinnis wins regional title
Anna McGinnis might be a first-year varsity singles player, but that didn’t change her goal or determination.
The Grand Junction High School senior won the Class 5A Region 6 No. 3 singles title to qualify for the state championships next week in Denver.
“It definitely was my goal all year to take regionals,” McGinnis said. “I worked hard to get to this point and it feels great.”
Grand Junction, the Southwestern League champions, won four championship matches and qualified 10 of its 11 players to win the region team title with 71 points.
Fruita Monument was second with 52 and Central took third with 50.
The Tigers won the No. 2 and 3 singles and the No. 1 and 2 doubles regional titles. Everyone but their No. 1 singles player qualified for state.
“The girls played two solid days of tennis and that’s what we wanted,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “The Western Slope (Invitational), we didn’t come out strong the second day. It’s nice to be regional champs and league champs. We’re meeting our goal.
“It’s always hard facing Fruita as many times as we have this season. They got us in a few of them, but we were able to battle through on some of them.”
Central sophomore Aimee Basinski won the No. 1 singles title, defeating Castle View’s Shannon Hickey 6-1, 6-3.
Basinski (15-3) is most likely the first No. 1 singles player in Central High School history to win a regional title.
“It feels amazing,” Basinski said. “I can’t explain the feeling.”
She will be joined by No. 3 singles player, Katie Murphy, who took second place, at state next week.
Grand Junction senior Alex Proietti was pushed to a third set, but persevered to defeat Fruita Monument’s Courtlyn Carpenter 6-1, 6-7, 7-6 for the No. 2 singles title.
McGinnis, who moved up to No. 3 singles from No. 4 doubles last season, defeated Murphy 6-0, 6-2 in the final.
“(McGinnis) works really hard, runs down a lot of balls and plays very smart,” Elliott said. “She’s mentally tough. It’s neat for a kid like that to work so hard through the summer. I’m really happy for her.”
The Tigers’ No. 1 doubles team of Madison Gurley and Kylie Pond defeated Fruita Monument’s McKenzie Kimball and Taryn Moon 6-4, 6-3. The No. 2 duo of Nicky Arja and Stephanie Skinner defeated Fruita’s Grace Gaglione and Sierra Segrest 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Fruita Monument won the No. 3 and 4 doubles titles and is sending Carpenter and all four doubles teams to state.
The Wildcats’ No. 3 duo of Camille Kovach and Laren Cyphers defeated Grand Junction’s Jillian Arja and Emma Holt 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 in the final.
“It was really exciting,” said Kovach, a senior. “We knew we had it after Central won (the third-place match) this morning, but it’s good to go in first place for better seeding.”
The freshmen No. 4 duo of Bronte Hayward and McKenna Griffiths rallied from a set down to defeat Grand Junction’s Anne Hughes and Stephanie Wahlers 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 for the championship. It was the Wildcats’ first win over the Grand Junction duo this season.
“This time we were more ready and trusted our shots,” Hayward said. “It felt like we deserved to win. We kept believing in ourselves.”
Class 4A Region 8
Steamboat Springs won all four doubles titles and two singles titles to win the team championship with 87 points.
Durango took second with 62, Aspen was third with 32 and Glenwood Springs was fourth with 31.
Durango freshman Eva Lou Edwards (18-0) defeated Steamboat’s Christi Valicenti 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) for the No. 1 singles title.
Glenwood Springs No. 3 singles player Brandi Vinger took second place to qualify for state.