The best of the West: Greeley West’s Sperry edges Montrose’s Vickers in Western Slope Invitiational
They met before on the tennis court and could possibly meet again.
Three years after Montrose High School’s Jessica Vickers and Greeley West’s Mattison Sperry played each other in a junior tennis tournament, the two met Saturday for the Western Slope Invitational No. 1 singles title at Canyon View Park.
This time, Sperry and her underhand serve defeated Vickers 7-5, 7-5.
“I haven’t won a tournament in a long time,” Sperry said. “I had to stay mentally tough.”
The Greeley West senior won one of four titles for the Spartans, who narrowly won the team title with 241 points. Fairview took second with 240, Ralston Valley was third (198), Heritage was fourth (195) and Grand Junction took fifth (188). Fruita Monument took eighth (168), Montrose was 12th (84) and Central was 14th (62).
Sperry relied on a steady, consistent game and her underhand serve.
“My labrum is partially torn and I have some inflammation,” she said. “I had to work on an underhand serve. I’m working on a left-handed serve, too. It’s worked for me.”
Sperry had to go to the underhand serve last year and reached the semifinals of the Western Slope Invitational and the Class 4A state tournament with it.
“I’m 5-(foot-)1, so when I did hit an overhead serve, it was not very good anyway,” Sperry said. “It’s fine. It’s fun to do. It works for me.”
Vickers (5-1), a Class 4A state quarterfinalist last year, was pleased with taking second place despite winning the tournament two years ago as a sophomore.
“It was exciting,” Vickers said. “I had a lot of fun. It was a great finals match. I missed a few forehands, but I’m happy with the way I played.
“This is a great tournament. It’s one of my favorites.”
Vickers, who has signed a letter of intent with NCAA Division I Bryant (R.I.) University, hopes to build off her tournament result.
“I know what I need to work on now,” she said. “I need to work on my forehand and a bigger serve.
“The competition is good. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I hope to make state and do well.”
Grand Junction’s No. 4 doubles team of Stephanie Skinner and Anna McGinnis took second place to Heritage’s Morgan Gopsill and Elizabeth Cuseo, 6-3, 6-0.
Grand Junction senior Samantha Weinberg took third at No. 3 singles with an injury default victory. Fairview’s Paris Hogan led 5-3 when she rolled an ankle and couldn’t continue.
Although Weinberg won by default, she was thrilled to take third place in her first high school singles tournament.
“I feel great about it,” she said. “It is a big adjustment mentally going from doubles to singles. You have to be more patient.
“This gives me a lot of confidence. I was sick all of November and December with mono(nucleosis) and I wasn’t able to play. Now, I feel like I can compete and make state.”
Fruita Monument’s No. 1 doubles team of Kenyon Hayward and Grace Gaglione took third place with an 8-4 pro-set victory over Ralston Valley.