Long day on tennis courts ends with no Tigers in finals
DENVER — It was bad enough that Grand Junction’s Kylie Pond, along with her doubles partner, senior Madison Gurley, had to stare down the top tandem from the juggernaut dynasty from Cherry Creek during Friday’s semifinals of the Class 5A tournament.
Pond also was taking on her cousin, the Bruins’ Lindsey Pond, and by the time the Tigers duo got their game together, it was a little too late.
Kylie Pond and Gurley enjoyed the Tigers’ best run during the expanded first day of the Class 5A state tournament Friday at the Gates Tennis Center, recording a pair of victories before bowing to Creek’s Lindsey Pond and Samantha Henry 6-2, 6-2.
“We won some and lost some, but I’m very happy with the way the kids executed the points,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “We weren’t nervous. We came out ready to play and we have some chances to get some matches (today).
“Our No. 1’s played very well, especially in the second set against Creek. The first set, not so much, but the second set they really played very well and it could have gone either way. Sometimes when you play a name, and that’s what we were doing the first set, it kind of gets to us. But the second set they settled down and played tough. Hopefully we can get some thirds and fourths.”
The Tigers’ top doubles team recorded a straight-set win against Fort Collins and outlasted Boulder in three sets before getting denied a berth in the state final by Cherry Creek. Pond and Gurley face Mountain Vista this morning in hopes of reaching the third-place match.
Grand Junction did not reach the semifinals in any other bracket, but several Tigers turned in strong efforts in the playback rounds. Senior Anna McGinnis recorded a first-round win against Mikaela Lehnert of Greeley West and, after losing in Round 2, McGinnis rebounded to a 6-0, 6-0 win against ThunderRidge’s Sam Rusk in the first round of the playbacks.
Grand Junction’s No. 2 doubles team of Nicky Arja and Stephanie Skinner and the No. 3 team of Jillian Arja and Emma Holt enjoyed similar runs. Arja and Skinner recorded a first-round win, and both tandems rebounded from losses to earn victories in their first playback matches.
“I think we actually got better as we got going,” Gurley said. “We really had some good points and I wish the score reflected it. We fought, and a lot of the games went to deuce. It was a tough match. I know all the girls here really fought. Our goal for (today) is to come back and really prove ourselves. We knew Creek would be tough coming into it, and we might have let that get into our heads a bit, but we’re good at starting over.”
Central’s No. 3 singles player, Katie Murphy, won her first-round match 6-2, 6-4 against Kayl Ecton of Poudre before losing to Cherry Creek’s Rachael Scheper in the second round.
PUEBLO — Durango No. 1 singles player Eva Lou Edwards lost for the first time this season in the state semifinals at Pueblo City Park.
Meagan Monahan of Denver East defeated the freshman 6-0, 6-1 to advance to today’s championship match.
Steamboat Springs’ No. 3 singles, No. 1 and 3 doubles teams lost in the semifinals as well.
Cheyenne Mountain’s Kristen Sullivan defeated Claire Parsons 6-4, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.