Learning from a loss
GJ's Gossage goes 2-1 in No. 1 singles debut
Until Monday, Aaron Gossage had no idea he was going to be the No. 1 singles player for Grand Junction High School.
Friday, after two seemingly simple victories, Gossage took his first loss at the Fruita Monument Duals Tennis Tournament at Canyon View Park.
He ran into Fossil Ridge’s No. 1 singles player, Lucas Martin. The Sabrecats didn’t lose a match during the first day of the two-day tournament, beating Grand Junction, Fruita Monument and Central, 7-0 each time.
That’s not to say Gossage, a senior, didn’t put up a fight. That’s why he was the easy choice to replace Jacob Lapkin after Lapkin opted to hone his skills at a tennis academy in California.
“He’s a competitor,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said of Gossage. “He’s very intense, and he hates to lose. But you have to love a kid like that who battles. He has a great baseline game. He does great things at the net. He’s the kind of guy you look for (in a No. 1 singles player).”
Gossage put up 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-3 victories in his first two matches. During his third match of the day, he fell to Martin 6-3, 6-4. Martin lived on the baseline throughout the match, forcing Gossage into making mistakes after long rallies.
Eventually, Gossage wore down. But that’s OK, Gossage said, he knows he’s going to lose matches against quality players at No. 1 singles.
“I look forward to it,” Gossage said. “I know we’ll play a lot of good teams with good players this year, and I’ll get beat a lot. But getting beat helps me get better. I can learn from these guys that are better tennis players than I am and use it to make myself better.”
Grand Junction was 1-2 during the first day of the tournament, beating Steamboat Springs 4-3 but falling to Aspen 4-3. The Skiers swept the four doubles matches in the win.
“Our doubles are raw at this point,” Elliott said. “We’re experimenting with different guys, and we’re trying to see what combination works.”
Fruita Monument fell to Fossil Ridge, but bounced back with a 7-0 win over Smoky Hill and a 4-3 triumph over Steamboat Springs. Smoky Hill is coached by Jeffrey Davis, brother of Fruita coach Clint Davis.
Central lost to Fossil Ridge and fell to Aspen 7-0 but finished its day with a 5-2 win over Smoky Hill.