Keeping momentum tough for Montrose in 4A tennis tourney

Weather was a critical factor in the boys Class 4A Region 8 tennis tournament Thursday, causing a pair of three-hour delays and leaving tournament officials scrambling to find places to play after the courts at Canyon View parked were pounded with rain and hail.

“We’re seeing if we can play at the college under the lights, or an indoor tennis club,” tournament director Jim Swiggert Sr. said. “But the kids are doing a wonderful job working to keep the courts dry; their parents and coaches should be proud.”

Athletes squeegeed courts between matches and some had three-hour delays between games of the same match.

“It’s tough to keep momentum with this going on,” Montrose No. 2 singles player Phurba Sherpa said three hours after the first set of his semifinal ended. “I had a ball go over the net and literally blow back into it. It’s tough out there.”

Montrose’s No. 3 singles player Joe Nunez didn’t even begin his semifinal match before Mother Nature postponed it.

“We walked on the court and it started hailing,” Nunez said.

Jim Swiggert Jr., the top seed at No. 1 singles, said luck was on his side during his semifinal match.

“I went out there and focused on keeping every ball in play,” Swiggert Jr. said. “I got through my first match and then got lucky with the weather in my second match.”

Swiggert’s 6-1, 6-2 semifinal victory over Ryan Pachl of Hotchkiss was played between the storms.

Swiggert will likely face Aspen High School’s Bryan Mehall in the finals today. Mehall’s semifinal match was supposed to start at 11:30 a.m., but as of 6:30 p.m., he still hadn’t played.

The tournament was moved to Colorado Mesa University and still had matches on the court at 10 p.m.

The seniors have faced off for the regional title three of their four years — last season Swiggert was nursing a back injury.

The tournament resumes at 9 this morning, weather permitting.


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