Weinberg enjoying team tennis at Junction

Spencer Weinberg from GJHS plays in the No. 1 singles match VS Jensen Teague from Chatfield HS at Canyon View Park.

There’s something about being a part of a team that Grand Junction’s No. 1 singles player Spencer Weinberg really likes.

Only a freshman, Weinberg has made a name for himself as an individual, playing on the USTA Intermountain circuit. But for the first time in his tennis career, he’s getting to play for more than himself.

“It’s good for our freshmen to know that we emphasize team,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “I think Spencer enjoys that aspect of getting to play for each other and not for themselves.”

Weinberg finished sixth in the Western Slope Invitational tennis tournament, defeating Chatfield’s Jensen Teague 6-2, 6-0 in his first match Saturday, but then losing to Joseph Lassen of Denver East 6-1, 6-1.

“I’m trying to get as much experience as I can going into state,” Weinberg said. “For me, this has been a learning experience.”

In addition to what Weinberg is learning on the court, he’s continuing to find out about being a teammate. Right after he defeated Teague, Weinberg sprinted to support the Tigers’ No. 1 doubles team of Sam Morgan and Charlie Reicks in a tight semifinal match.

“The guys have been great,” Weinberg said. “I love that everyone goes crazy for everyone else when they are in an intense match.”

The Tigers’ freshman also got to see what the top talent looks like across the state, including Cherry Creek’s Taylor Sargent, who won the No. 1 singles title by defeating Greeley West’s Chris Schanner 6-1, 6-2.

“Everyone is really good at this point,” Weinberg said. “But I think I was able to put my name out there and show everyone what I’ve got.”

Someone who can attest to the quality at No. 1 singles is Owen Gartner. The Tiger senior is playing No. 3 singles this year, but was in the top spot last season.

“There are some incredible players at No. 1,” Gartner said. “But Spencer knows what he’s doing. He’s a great singles player, and when he plays aggressive, it’s hard to take him down.”

Gartner fared well in the tournament, finishing fourth. Grand Junction’s No. 2 singles player, Parker Hegstrom, placed third.

“Overall the kids played great,” Elliott said. “We are learning how to get mentally tough for every point.”

Morgan and Reicks were the Tigers’ top finishers, taking second after losing to Cherry Creek’s Brian Maierhofer and Doug Kierstead 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 doubles title match.

That helped Grand Junction finish for a tie in fourth with Chatfield with 103 points.

Fairview won the title with 115 points, Denver East came in second with 109 and Cherry Creek finished third with 108.

Central and Fruita didn’t have anyone reach the championship bracket Saturday, but both turned in solid tournaments.

The Wildcats finished 11th with 57 team points, and Central finished tied 15th with 29.

“We knew the competition would be tough,” Fruita Monument coach Clint Davis said. “We knew we would have some weaknesses exposed, and now we have to work on those.”


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