Schulte proving she’s learned from last year’s tough loss at state

Grand Junction’s Kirstin Schulte hopes to put last year’s disappointing loss at state behind her beginning at 9 a.m. today in the 2009 tennis state tournament.

Kirstin Schulte had high expectations for last year’s state tournament.

The Tigers No. 3 singles player had won the region championship, which set her up with a great draw in her first state tournament appearance. Schulte was facing Lauren Musso of Denver East, whom she had already beaten during the season.

It seemed as if she were a lock to get out of the first round and do some damage in the No. 3 singles bracket.

Then reality hit as Musso rolled to a 6-2, 6-0 victory, ending Schulte’s first state tennis trip on the first day.

“I lost pretty bad to her, and it was a real disappointment,” Schulte said. “But it was a learning experience for sure.”

One year later, Schulte proved she learned from the tough loss, thriving under pressure in last weekend’s region tournament. Schulte defeated Fruita Monument’s Janine Kirtland 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 3 singles championship. She had lost to Kirtland twice during the season, but made the adjustment when it mattered most.

“She found it in her heart to battle, and she didn’t want to lose,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “You have to love that, and I was really happy to see it.”

Schulte hopes to take the confidence earned at the regional into her first round match today against Saryn Mooney of Arapahoe at the Gates Tennis Center.

“I think I’m more prepared because I have a lot of confidence in all aspects of my game,” Schulte said. “I want to play my best and play up to my potential.”

Schulte joins 19 other Grand Valley players today when matches begin at 9 a.m. Here is a look at the other local participants in the 2009 tennis state tournament.
No. 1 singles

Charlotte Mooney, Sr., Grand Junction

4th trip to state

First Round Opponent: Jacqueline Palmucci, Jr., Cherokee Trail

Coach Elliott’s Take: “Charlotte is a fighter and doesn’t give up. She has that intensity and will to win.”

Lindsey Henke, Sr., Fruita Monument

1st trip to state

First Round Opponent: Sarah Ray, Jr., Arapahoe

Coach Clint Davis’s take: “Lindsey is the ultimate counter-puncher. If she matches up with someone who likes to hit big shots, and she can get her frustrated a little bit, that is her domain.”

No. 2 Singles

Jenny Jessup, Sr., Grand Junction

4th trip

First Round Opponent: Maddie Wiebe, Sr., Chatfield

Coach Elliott’s take: “She has been a solid player all year long, and we are hoping for great things from her.”

No. 3 Singles

Janine Kirtland, So., Fruita Monument

2nd trip

First Round Opponent: Kaley Carmichael, Jr., Ponderosa

Coach Davis’s take: “If Janine plays the way she played most of the season, she has a good chance to do some damage as long as she stays loose and has fun out there.”

No. 1 Doubles

Alyssa Behrens, Jr.,Maddie Hayduk, So., Grand Junction

Behrens: 3rd trip; Hayduk: 2nd trip.

First Round Opponent: Lauren Atkinson/Shelly Richards, ThunderRidge

Coach Elliott’s take: “They’ve been playing fantastic the last half of the season. They have a lot of confidence and know how to mix things up.”

No. 2 Doubles

Liz Heaps, Sr., Samantha Weinberg, Jr.,

Grand Junction

Heaps: 2nd trip; Weinberg: 2nd trip

First round opponent: Kelly Givens/Sara Martin, Fairview

Coach Elliott’s take: “Sammy and Liz are able to get a lot of balls back, execute and set up points well. Hopefully their confidence and experience will get us where we need to be.”

Katie McGovern, Sr., Grace Gaglione, Fr., Fruita Monument

McGovern: 1st trip; Gaglione: 1st trip

First Round Opponent: Gina D’Silva/Jamie Pledger, Pine Creek

Coach Davis’s take: “They have a tendency to get really anxious, so they have to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.”

No. 3 Doubles

Emmie Madison, Jr., Alex Proietti, So.,

Grand Junction

Madison: 1st trip; Proietti: 2nd trip

First round opponent: Alina Barthle/Samantha Kobe, Grandview

Coach Elliott’s take: “They’re very aggressive and don’t let a lot of things get to them.”

Lauren Bleil, Sr., Channing Hayward, Jr., Fruita Monument

Bleil: 1st trip; Hayward: 1st trip.

First round opponent: Carolyn Brent/Megan Thayer, Fairview

Coach Davis’s take: “They are coming in on a roll and played really well in their playback match.” 

No. 4 doubles

Madison Gurley, So., Kylie Pond, Fr., Grand Junction

Gurley: 1st trip; Pond: 1st trip.

First round opponent: Molly McKeon/Hillary Owens, Green Mountain

Coach Elliott’s take: “They have to be able to get out of the gates really quick because if they have a slow start, it could be tough for them.”

Amands Stites, Sr., Taylor Blake, Sr.,

Fruita Monument

Stites: 1st trip; Blake: 1st trip.

First round opponent: Krysta Zayac/Lauren Broyhill, Cherry Creek

Coach Davis’ take: “Cherry Creek in the first round is always fun, so I’m sure they will play loose.”


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