Proietti’s keep chipping away at Taco Bell

The family jokes that Dylan Proietti was the guinea pig. He went first, learned the stings and highs that come with the sport of tennis, and brought his findings back to the family.

That was eight years ago when Proietti first began playing. And now Dylan’s siblings, Alex, 19, and Max, 16, are excelling at the Taco Bell Tennis Western Slope Open.

Even their mother, Lisa, will be playing in the Women’s 4.0 Doubles with her daughter Alex.

But it began with Dylan, who is not competing in the tournament but was the first Proietti to land on a tennis court.

“I had played team sports like baseball and soccer, but in tennis it’s a lot more individual,” Dylan said. “You form an intense relationship with yourself.”

Dylan, for example, learned he was far more disciplined than he thought.

But something else eventually emerged. The Proietti’s learned they are chippers. A common strength in the family is their ability to tap a ball over the net.

“My brother (Dylan) is the master of it in our family,” said Max, who will play in the Men’s 16 Singles final this morning at Colorado Mesa University against Aaron Gossage. “He and my dad are pretty good at it. It’s just about touch and when to use it and how much to put into it.”

Max, being the youngest, benefitted from his brother’s trailblazing. So did Alex, who also will be competing in the 7.5 Mixed division. Alex and David Montoya defeated Bernie and Mary Anne Pacini 6-3, 6-3 in round one of the round-robin division.

“We joke that (Dylan) was the guinea pig of the family,” said Alex, who went to Grand Junction High School and is attending Denver University. “He’s the one who says, ‘Hey, I’ve done this before, and this is what I do.’ “


Singles finals today: There are many Juniors singles championship matches today, and the 18 Singles division titles will be featured at 9 a.m. at Colorado Mesa University.

In the boys division, CMU-bound Luke Ledebur will play Drake Giese. In the girls, Central High School’s Aimee Basinski will take on Anne Hughes of Grand Junction High.

Champ Campos: Carolena Campos already has one first-place finish, having teamed up with Ian Hegstrom to take the Mixed 14-16 Doubles division title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sarah Fleming and Cal Hegstrom.

Today, Campos hopes to add to her titles. She will play in a Girls 16 Singles final against Hannah Keeling at 9:30 a.m.

At noon she’ll play Sarah Fleming for the Girls 14 Singles title.

“I don’t think I’ve ever won every single event before,” said Campos, 14, who said she began playing in the Taco Bell tournament at 9.

And that year, she won the Girls 10 Singles division.

She thinks the experience has helped.

“It just helps being ready for everything,” she said. “It’s real tiring. You just rest and eat snacks. It’s real fun. I like it.”


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