Prinster fills key spot for Tigers in win over Aspen
Margeaux Prinster has become the tennis equivalent of a baseball utility player for Grand Junction High School.
Wherever Tigers coach Carol Elliott has needed her, Prinster has been there to step in.
Prinster, not normally one of Grand Junction’s varsity players, filled in for the Tigers at No. 4 doubles in two Southwestern League dual matches two weeks ago.
On Thursday, she was issued a bigger challenge in a nonleague match against Aspen.
Prinster was called on to replace No. 2 singles player Jenny Jessup, who was out of town to attend her brother’s wedding.
She answered the call, defeating the Skiers’ Sydney Mandry 6-4, 6-4.
Prinster, a junior, went out for soccer during her first two spring seasons, but she had been playing tennis since she was a youngster.
“I’ve been in that community,” she said of having played with, and against, some of her teammates through the years. “Tennis always felt unfinished for me.”
Elliott, who gave Prinster lessons when she was a youngster, realized what she had to work with and said Prinster has picked up the nuances of high school tennis quickly.
“She has improved so much during the season and she’s so willing to learn,” Elliott said.
Prinster’s victory helped the Tigers (6-0 in dual matches this season) blank Aspen 7-0. The Tigers won all seven matches in straight sets.
Other than Prinster’s victory and Kirsten Schulte’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Jordan Meyer at No. 3 singles, the Tigers didn’t give up more than three games in any match.
Prinster said she felt little pressure, even playing her first varsity singles match.
If anything, “I think I put the pressure on myself,” she said.
Prinster was down 3-2 in both sets but came back to take a 4-3 lead in each en route to the victory.
“She’s learning to be really, really smart,” Elliott said.
“She’s so athletic and so energetic,” Elliott said of Prinster, who runs cross country in the fall.
The fact that it was a nonleague match, rescheduled from last week because of inclement weather, didn’t change Prinster’s outlook.
“We’re generally a little more friendly (in nonleague matches), but that doesn’t mean we play any less hard,” she said.
Prinster enjoys playing singles and doubles equally, but one thing doesn’t change no matter which spot she is playing.
“Every time I go out to play, I play as hard as I can,” she said.
Grand Junction heads to Denver today to play Denver East, then participates Saturday in the annual Phil Krous Invitational, also in Denver.