Postseason is everything for prep tennis players
For high school tennis players, the postseason is everything.
No matter how successful a player was during the dual season, a slip-up at the regional tournament will keep him out of the state tournament.
Last weekend’s Region 7 tournament at the Elliott Tennis Center at Mesa State College produced eight spots to state for local players.
Here’s a closer look at the 14 boys competing in the state tournament beginning Thursday at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver.
Dylan Proietti, Grand Junction
Position: No. 2 singles
How he got there: Proietti finished 9-2 during the dual season and earned a first-round bye in the regional tournament. Proietti defeated Overland 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals and Ponderosa 7-5, 6-4 in the championship match.
Thoughts on going to state: “This is my third year of winning the regional and I don’t think it would have been the same if I had taken second. My goal is just to make it to state so I am happy with however far I get.” — Proietti
First-round opponent: Jensen Teague, Chatfield
Tom Morrison, Central
Position: No. 3 singles
How he got there: Finished 8-1 in duals but lost to Ponderosa in the second round in three sets at the regional tournament. Morrison worked his way through playbacks and defeated Grand Junction’s Parker Hegstrom 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to earn the second bid to state. Morrison has played singles for the
Warriors for four years and this is his first trip to the tournament.
Thoughts on going to state: “It is amazing, you have no idea how much I have been looking forward to it. It has been a long road but I have improved a lot with the help of my coach (Steve Tyler).” — Morrison
First-round opponent: Calvin Ward, George
Charlie Reicks/Sam Morgan, Grand Junction
Position: No. 1 doubles
How they got there: 10-1 in the dual season, earning a first-round bye and winning matches against Durango and Central in straight sets. The two players finished fourth last year in the state tournament at No. 3 doubles.
Thoughts on going to state: “It feels good, we played well in the regional and are excited to go back to state and see how we can do,” — Reicks
“Last year prepared us a lot because we playing all the best teams at No. 3 doubles. Hopefully we will got back and do the same at No. 1 doubles.” — Morgan
First-round opponent: Seth Grotelueschen/Slater White, Air Academy
Austin Krebill/James D’Anabelle, Central
Position: No. 1 doubles
Years: Krebill (sophomore), D’Anabelle (junior)
How they got there: The pair went 5-4 in dual matches this season. Krebill and D’Anabelle had a difficult first day of the tournament, winning both their matches against Fruita Monument and Ponderosa but having to go three sets in both. The trip to state is a surprise to both.
Thoughts on going to state: “We have evolved so much since our first dual. We have won a lot of our matches but I still had my doubts about being able to go to state probably because of Junction.” — Krebill
“This is probably the best year for Central tennis in a long time.” — D’Anabelle
First-round opponent: Cass Krughoff/Blake Wetherbee, Fairview
Jake Frankhouser/Greg Coleman, Grand Junction
Position: No. 2 doubles
Years: Frankhouser (senior), Coleman (junior)
How they got there: Frankhouser and Coleman probably have been one of the most dominant doubles team of the 2008 tennis season. They went 11-0 in dual matches and made it to the championship of the Western Slope Invitational before losing to Fairview. At regionals they cruised by Ponderosa and Central in straight sets. This is the second trip to state for the team.
Thoughts on going to state: “We are a lot stronger this year. We are a better team, we have better chemistry and work together.”— Frankhouser
“It was important to do well at the regional because it not only kept our confidence up but it would have destroyed our draw at state if we didn’t. Taking first will give us a good position to start.” — Coleman
First-round opponent: David Kaminky/Zach Travis, Chaparral
Darius Fugere/Matt Friesen, Grand Junction
Position: No. 3 doubles
How they got there: The pair went 10-1 in dual matches, earning the first-round bye. They survived a tough three-set match Friday against Fruita Monument to advance and defeat Ponderosa on Saturday. Fugere and Friesen said they are excited for state and think they will do well against the tough competition.
Thoughts on going to state: “We play up to our competition and there is really nothing to lose when you play good teams. I have high expectations because we did pretty well at Western Slope.” — Fugere
“Confidence will be a big key. We have to stay in it and play good.” — Friesen
First-round opponent: Tom Johnson/Brian Shin, Mountain Vista
Gabriel Campos/Luke Ledebur, Grand Junction
Position: No. 4 doubles
How they got there: Campos and Ledebur played well enough during their first year of high school tennis to earn a 8-3 dual record and the first-round bye at regionals. They got past a tough Fruita Monument team 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to earn the berth to state.
Thoughts on going to state: “I feels good. I was kind of nervous coming into regionals and I was hoping we would able to play our games and it feels pretty good we did that.” — Ledebur
“We are going to just try to continue what we have been doing and try to have some fun.” — Campos
First-round opponent: Simon Lee/Pawel Janas, Boulder
Chad Hotimsky/Josh Weedon, Fruita
Position: No. 4 doubles
Years: Hotimsky (junior), Weedon (sophomore)
How they got there: The pair finished 7-3 in dual matches and played well in regionals, defeating Durango, Ponderosa and taking the first set from Grand Junction in the championship before falling in the match.
Thoughts on going to state: “I am just excited we are going. I am not expecting much but the experience will be good.” — Weedon
“We will have to get up to the net (at state), that will be the key.” — Hotimsky
First-round opponent: Jordan Brisch/Will Woodard, Regis
Carol Elliott, Grand Junction
“The goal is always to get everyone to state and we had a couple of hiccups, but overall it wasn’t a bad (regional) weekend.”
Steve Tyler, Central
“It is always the same for us, how well we can serve and return. They will be playing seeds and going in there as non-seeds will be tough.”
Randy Majors, Fruita Monument
“This is really quite an accomplishment for the No. 4 (doubles team). It is a tough region to come out of, and I am really happy for them.”