Tigers tune up for tennis regionals with sweep of Wildcats

It was a change that had to be made.

Thursday’s tennis match between Grand Junction and Fruita Monument was originally scheduled for September 11 before Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott took a closer look at the Tigers’ schedule.

The Tigers originally were supposed to have their regular season completed Sept. 27 against Montezuma-Cortez, but that would have left nearly two weeks until the start of the regional tournament Oct. 10. The regional had been pushed back one week from its traditional start date.

“I talked with (Fruita Monument coach Randy Majors) and we both decided it would be a good move,” Elliott said. “I didn’t want that much time off.”

The Tigers made the most out of the reschedule, topping the Wildcats 7-0 at Fruita Monument.

“Our boys are doing very well today,” Elliott said. “This is when they have to be playing at the top of their games and be very focused.”

Owen Gartner led the way for the Tigers at No. 1 singles, defeating Tristan Beck 6-1, 6-3. Dylan Proietti won at No. 2, topping Antonio Pestello 6-3, 6-0. Parker Hegstrom won at No. 3, 6-1, 6-0 over JP Lambert.

The Wildcats also are still trying to tune up their games and Thursday’s match had some glimpses of growth for the young team.

“I though Antonio and Tristan both played one very good set,” Majors said. “Hopefully we will be able to build off of that.”

In the doubles matches, Sam Morgan and Charlie Reicks defeated Brandon Ruckman and Danny Preston at No. 1, 6-1, 6-1.

“We did good today but it could have been a lot better,” Morgan said. “I personally have some things I have to still work on.”

Morgan said despite the later date of regionals, he isn’t overly anxious for the event to start.

“I can wait, I have patience,” Morgan said. “I wouldn’t mind another week of practice.”

At No. 2 doubles, Jake Frankhouser and Greg Coleman defeated Chase Martin and Vinnie Castellini 6-0, 6-2.

Daruis Fugere and Matt Friesen took down Andy Hoekel and Cody Iden 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3.

The closest match of the day was at No. 4 doubles, where Fruita’s Chad Hotimsky and Josh Weedon came back from losing the first set 3-6 to win 6-4 in the second set. The match went to a tiebreaker, where Grand Junction’s Gabriel Campos and Luke Ledebur took control, winning 10-4 in the tiebreaker.

“The boys are playing well and I think we are playing a little tougher,” Majors said. “Grand Junction is a tough athletic team and overall, we battled for points.”


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